Producer and director Brett Ratner is the latest Hollywood powerhouse to be accused of sexual harassment and misconduct. The Los Angeles Times has posted an article today with allegations from six woman accusing the Rush Hour director and partner in RatPac Entertainment, which co-finances many of Warner Bros’ event pictures, including accusations from actress Natasha Henstridge.
Ratner, through his attorney Martin Singer, disputed her account to the Times.
The story drops just days after Ratner was honored by the Jewish National Fund for his philanthropic efforts in support of Israel. Gal Gadot, who had been scheduled to present his award, dropped out, she said, due to scheduling conflicts, leading to some speculation that word of the Times story was leaking. Gadot’s Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins presented the award to Ratner instead.
Today’s lengthy LAT story begins with Henstridge’s allegation: She was a 19-year-old fashion model and he a music video director in his 20s when, after a small party of friends at his New York apartment, Ratner prevented Henstridge from leaving, forcing her to perform oral sex on him.
“He strong-armed me in a real way,” the Species actress says in the Times article. “He physically forced himself on me. At some point, I gave in and he did his thing.”
The Times article details “a range of sexual harassment and misconduct that allegedly took place in private homes, on movie sets or at industry events. As is often the case, none of the women reported the allegations to the police.”
In a 10-page letter responding to the Times, Singer told the paper, “I have represented Mr. Ratner for two decades, 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.”
Actress Olivia Munn wrote about an incident involving Ratner — she didn’t use his name — in a 2010 memoir, writing that in 2004 while visiting the set of the director’s After the Sunset, Munn delivered a meal to his trailer and the director masturbated in front of her. A year later, on a TV show, Ratner “claimed that he had ‘banged’ her,” the Times writes, “something he later said was not true.” At a CAA party he “boasted of ejaculating on magazine covers featuring her image.” Munn has since named the director.
In addition to Munn and Henstridge, other women quoted in the Times article today are:
- The Punisher actress Jaime Ray Newman, who was on the same Air Canada flight as Ratner in 2005, during which the director swapped seats so he could sit next to her, then “began loudly describing sex acts he wanted to perform on her in explicit detail. He also showed her nude photos of his then-girlfriend.”
- Actress Katharine Towne, who describes a 2005 encounter with Ratner. The What Lies Beneath actress says that at an L.A. party Ratner made “extreme” advances before following Towne into a bathroom. In an attempt to put the director off, Towne gave him her phone number. She said Ratner’s assistant called her for the next six months, unsuccessfully trying to arrange a dinner for her and the filmmaker.
- Eri Sasaki, was at 21 a part-time model and aspiring singer when she appeared as an extra in a scene in Ratner’s Rush Hour 2. Dressed in a “skimpy outfit” that exposed her midriff, Sasaki was waiting for filming to begin when Ratner “approached her, ran his index finger down her bare stomach and asked if she wanted to go into a bathroom with him. When she said no, she recalled Ratner saying, ‘Don’t you want to be famous?’ “
- Jorina King, who also worked as a Rush Hour 2 background actress, says Ratner first discussed the possibility of a speaking part, then arrived in her trailer “and told her he needed to see her breasts. King said she rejected his request and hid in a restroom. ‘I figured if I could stay out of his eyesight, if I could stay away from him, he will forget about me and he will choose someone else, and that is exactly what happened.’ “
The Los Angeles Times article arrives just 10 days after the newspaper broke a similar story about director James Toback, who was accused at that point of harassing 38 woman over a span of decades. Glenn Whipp, the Times reporter who broke that story, has said he’s since been contacted by more than 300 woman with accusations against Toback.