Six women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, have accused filmmaker Brett Ratner of sexual misconduct and harassment in an exposé published Wednesday by the Los Angeles Times.
According to Henstridge, Ratner—whose directing credits include X-Men: The Last Stand, Red Dragon, and the Rush Hour franchise—forced her to make oral contact with his genitals at a party in the early 1990s, when she was 19 years old. “He physically forced himself on me,” Henstridge told the Times. “At some point, I gave in and he did his thing.”
Munn recalled being sexually harassed by Ratner in 2004, when she visited the set of his film After the Sunset. According to the actress, Ratner masturbated in front of her in his trailer. Munn previously recounted the incident in her 2010 memoir, Suck It, Wonder Woman!: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek, without naming Ratner. In a 2011 appearance on Attack of the Show, Ratner openly admitted to being the person in question, though he denied masturbating in front of Munn. During the appearance, Ratner also claimed he had a sexual relationship with the actress—“I banged her a few times ... but I forgot her”—but later said he lied when making those comments. “She’s actually talented,” he said in a phone interview on The Howard Stern Show in 2011. “The problem is I made her look like she’s a whore.”
Munn said her attorney dissuaded her from taking legal action at the time, given Ratner’s stature in Hollywood. “That did leave an impact on me,” she told the Times. “How broken do women have to be before people listen?”
Another actress, Jaime Ray Newman, described an encounter with Ratner on a plane in 2005, where he allegedly swapped seats with his assistant to sit closer to her. According to Newman, Ratner was “graphically describing giving me oral sex and how he was addicted to it.”
Four people who spoke to the Times about the production of Rush Hour 2 described a “sexually charged atmosphere” on set. Two female extras on the film, Eri Sasaki and Jorina King, recounted being sexually harassed by the director. According to Sasaki, Ratner asked her if she wanted to go to the bathroom with him, saying, “Don’t you want to be famous?” King said Ratner asked her if she’d like a speaking part in the film, and then told her to come to his trailer so he could see her breasts.
Lastly, actress Katharine Towne alleged that Ratner made aggressive overtures to her at a party in Los Angeles around 2005, and at one point followed her into the bathroom. “I think it’s pretty aggressive to go in the bathroom with someone you don’t know and close the door,” she said.
In a letter to the Times, Ratner’s lawyer, Martin Singer, “categorically” disputed all six of the accounts, calling them “absurd” and “ridiculous.” “I have represented Mr. Ratner for two decades, and no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment,” the letter reads. “Furthermore, no woman has ever requested or received any financial settlement from my client.”
Ratner is the latest figure in Hollywood—joining director James Toback, Kevin Spacey, Roy Price, and others—to be accused of sexual misconduct since early October, when producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment, assault, and rape in reports by The New York Times and The New Yorker. In total, Weinstein has been accused by over 60 women.
You can read the Los Angeles Times’ full exposé here.