Brett Ratner has filed a libel lawsuit in Hawaii against a woman who claims he raped her more than 10 years ago.
Melanie Kohler made her claims on Facebook more than a week before a Los Angeles Times story broke accusing Ratner of sexual harassment of six women. According to the Ratner lawsuit, Kohler ‘s October 20 post stated that Ratner “was a rapist on at least one night in Hollywood about 12 years ago” and “preyed on me as a drunk girl [and] forced himself upon me.”
Ratner filed his complaint against Kohler in Hawaii federal court via his attorney, Eric Seitz, denying Kohler’s accusations, characterizing the social media post as libel per se, and that the statements are false, fabricated and fictional. The suit also claimed Kohler published them maliciously. The suit seeks general, special and punitive damages for Ratner’s alleged emotional distress, anger and anxiety, claiming his professional reputations have been ruined by the allegations. Read the entire complaint here.
The lawsuit is the first volley back from Ratner in the wave of accusations and recriminations. Earlier on Wednesday, he parted ways on his first-look deal with Warner Bros.
“In light of the allegations being made, I am choosing to personally step away from all Warner Bros.-related activities,” Ratner’s statement said. “I don’t want to have any possible negative impact to the studio until these personal issues are resolved.”