Brett Ratner, director of the Rush Hour trilogy, is the latest in Hollywood to be accused of sexual harassment by multiple sources.
The Los Angeles Times posted an article on Nov. 1, detailing six women’s unpleasant experiences with his inappropriate behavior.
One such case was that of Natasha Henstridge’s (Species). The 19-year-old model fell asleep on Ratner’s couch and, after waking up, wasn't allowed to leave. Henstridge says that Ratner blocked the doorway, only then to begin touching himself and then force her into oral sex. “He strong-armed me in a real way,” Henstridge says in the article. “At some point, I gave in and he did his thing.”
Actress Olivia Munn (The Newsroom, X-Men: Apocalypse) also described an incident she had with Ratner, one she wrote about in a 2010 memoir (she didn’t use his name at the time). Munn says that, while visiting the set of After the Sunset in 2004, Ratner masturbated in front of her when she went into his trailer to deliver him a meal.
“It feels as if I keep going up against the same bully at school who just won’t quit,” Munn told The Los Angeles Times. “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.”
Other accounts of abuse include that of actress Jamie Ray Newman saying Ratner verbally described several sexual acts while sitting next to her on a plane, actress Katharine Towne recalling a time when he followed her into a bathroom, model Eri Sasaki — who worked as an extra on Rush Hour 2 — describing when Ratner began touching her during filming and Jorina King — also an extra on Rush Hour 2 — saying he showed up unannounced at her trailer one day with poor intentions.
Ratner’s attorney Martin Singer, however, is disputing the accounts. “I have represented Mr. Ratner for two decades,” Singer said in a 10-page letter to The Times, “and no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. Furthermore, no woman has ever requested or received any financial settlement from my client.”
Singer went as far as to call Towne’s and King’s accounts “absurd,” and claimed that Munn and Ratner had “an intimate relationship,” which Munn says is “a complete lie.”
If you want a pretty good example of why women don't come forward about sexual assault, just read the quotes from Brett Ratner's lawyer in the LA Times story today.
— Willo (@whoiswillo) November 1, 2017
Brett Ratner himself has not issued any kind of statement, although he does hold a certain reputation in Hollywood for having a certain unashamed sexually active persona. In the past, he’s bragged about his encounters with Lindsay Lohan, Mariah Carey and Paris Hilton, according to The Los Angeles Times.
This news comes after hundreds of women and men have now come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct from other powerful Hollywood figures that include Harvey Weinstein, James Toback and Kevin Spacey. Henstridge cited these accounts as inspiration for her story to come forward, saying she no longer wanted to remain silent.
None of the allegations have been reported to the police, as happens frequently in these situations. However, now that the ball has begun rolling on stopping these sexual assault cases, action will hopefully soon be taken against Brett Ratner.