Filmmaker Brett Ratner Accused of Sexually Assaulting or Harassing Six Women
Six women have come forward and accused filmmaker Brett Ratner of sexual assault, according to a recent investigative piece by Los Angeles Times.
Actresses Natasha Henstridge and Olivia Munn are among the accusers, with Henstridge describing a sexual assault that took place 20 years ago, when she was just 19.
“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.”
Olivia Munn actually wrote about an experience with Ratner, though not by name, in a book she authored back in 2010, accusing the director of masturbating in front of her when she delivered a meal to his trailer.
“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.”
Ratner denied the accusation, saying, about Munn, “I banged her a few times … but I forgot her.” He later admitted to lying about having sexual intercourse with the 37-year-old actress.
The episode shook Munn and she has avoided Ratner ever since.
“I’ve made specific, conscientious choices not to work with Brett Ratner,” she said. “It feels as if I keep going up against the same bully at school who just won’t quit. You just hope that enough people believe the truth and for enough time to pass so that you can’t be connected to him anymore.”
Four other actresses have stepped forward with similar stories of harassment by the director of Rush Hour. Jaime Ray Newman, who stars in Nexflix’s forthcoming The Punisher, said he repeatedly described sex acts he wanted to perform on her during a flight in which they were seated next to one another, alleging that he also showed her nude pictures of his girlfriend.
Actress Katharine Towne said he trapped her in a bathroom at a party in 2005, calling his actions “aggressive” and “extreme.”
The director’s lawyer, Martin Singer, penned a lengthy statement defending his client, dismissing the allegations because there hadn’t been any settlement payouts.
“I have represented Mr. Ratner for two decades, and no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment,” he wrote. “Furthermore, no woman has ever requested or received any financial settlement from my client.”
However, Ratner has long associated with other directors who have been accused of sexual misconduct, telling Variety in January that he considered James Toback and Roman Polanski to be among his “closest friends.”
— Asia Argento (@AsiaArgento) November 1, 2017
Additionally, the director of The Family Man and X-Men: The Last Stand was fired from producing the 2011 Oscars ceremony after he used a gay slur during an interview.
Recent weeks have seen multiple sexual harassment and assault allegations placed against Hollywood luminaries. There’s Harvey Weinstein, of course, but earlier today an actress stepped forward and accused actor Dustin Hoffman of sexually harassing her when she was just 17 years old.
[image via Wikimedia Commons]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org