UPDATED November 1 10:59 p.m. ET: Brett Ratner is suing a woman who is alleging that he raped her for defamation, TMZ reports. The woman, Melanie Kohler, made the allegations in a Facebook post, writing that "Brett Ratner raped me." She also called Ratner "a rapist on at least one night in Hollywood about 12 years ago" and wrote that he "preyed on me as a drunk girl [and] forced himself upon me."
Deadline is reporting Brett Ratner as saying that he will be "stepping away" from Warner Bros amid allegations of sexual assault and misconduct. His short statement reads: "In light of the allegations being made, I am choosing to personally step away from all Warner Bros.- related activities. I don’t want to have any possible negative impact to the studio until these personal issues are resolved."
Read the original story below.
The Los Angeles Times has published a report on filmmaker Brett Ratner with accusations from six different women (including Natasha Henstridge and Olivia Munn) detailing acts of sexual harassment/misconduct that he is alleged to have committed.
In one excerpt, Henstridge said Ratner forced her to perform oral sex:
Natasha Henstridge was watching a movie on Brett Ratner’s couch when she fell asleep. She was a 19-year-old fashion model; he was an up-and-coming music video director in his early 20s. They had been hanging out in front of the TV with friends at his New York apartment.
But when Henstridge woke up, the others had left. She was alone with Ratner. She got up to leave, Henstridge said, but he blocked the doorway with his body and wouldn’t budge. He began touching himself, she said, then forced her to perform oral sex.
“He strong-armed me in a real way. He physically forced himself on me,” she said. “At some point, I gave in and he did his thing.”
Munn shared her own disturbing experience with Ratner:
Not long after Munn arrived on the Santa Monica set in 2004, she said, she was asked to drop some food off in Ratner's trailer as a favor. She said she was assured that the director would not be there.
Munn entered Ratner’s trailer and quickly placed the food on a table. She said she was startled to find him inside. She tried to make a quick exit, but Ratner implored her not to leave.
"He walked out ... with his belly sticking out, no pants on, shrimp cocktail in one hand and he was furiously masturbating in the other," Munn said. "And before I literally could even figure out where to escape or where to look, he ejaculated."
Munn said she let out a "startled scream" and raced out of the trailer. She said she immediately told the man who had asked her to deliver the food. His reaction? “It wasn't a shock. It wasn't surprise,” Munn recalled. “It was just, ‘Ugh, sorry about that.’"
Katharine Towne also revealed Ratner's actions during her encounter:
Actress Katharine Towne also described an aggressive come-on by Ratner that left her so uncomfortable that she said she still vividly remembers the incident years later. She said she met the director in L.A. around 2005 at a party in a movie star’s home, where he made unwanted advances. Ratner, she said, was persistent, “making it evident that he had one motive” — to sleep with her.
“He started to come on to me in a way that was so extreme,” said Towne, 39, whose credits include the film “What Lies Beneath.” The actress, who is the daughter of “Chinatown” screenwriter Robert Towne, excused herself. Ratner followed her into a bathroom.
“I think it’s pretty aggressive to go in the bathroom with someone you don’t know and close the door,” Towne said.
She said she was nervous, and tried to make a joke about her weight: “I don’t even know what you want with me. I’m kind of chubby right now.” He was undeterred. “I like ’em chubby sometimes,” she said Ratner replied. Towne gave Ratner her number, hoping to placate him. Ratner’s assistant called her for the next six months, unsuccessfully trying to arrange a dinner for her and the filmmaker, she said.
Through his attorney, Ratner denied the allegations.
However, Ratner was not the only Hollywood name to face sexual misconduct claims (which has become sort of a daily thing) on Wednesday, as Dustin Hoffman also had some allegations tossed his way in a lengthy guest colum on The Hollywood Reporter. That guest column was written by Anna Graham Hunter, who says a then 48-year-old Hoffman groped her on the set of 1985's TV movie production of Death of a Salesman when she was 17. She also says he "talked about sex to me and in front of me."
Hoffman put out a statement saying, "Anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am."
You can read the entire THR column on Hoffman here. And you can read the LA Times report on Ratner here.