NME Festival blog: Six women accuse Hollywood director Brett Ratner of sexual harassment and assault
Director Brett Ratner has been accused of sexual misconduct, harassment and assault by six women.
In a report posted on The Los Angeles Times, the Rush Hour director is accused of multiple instances of sexual aggression. Among the accusations, actress Natasha Henstridge stated that Ratner “forced her” to perform oral sex when she was 19 years old. “He strong-armed me in a real way. He physically forced himself on me,” she says. “At some point, I gave in and he did his thing.”
Through his attorney Martin Singer, Ratner denied the claims.
Olivia Munn, meanwhile, accused Ratner of masturbating in front of her, and said “It feels as if I keep going up against the same bully at school who just won’t quit”. Munn told The 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.” Ratner, through Singer, said he “vehemently disputes” Munn’s allegations.
Four other women have also offered accounts of physical or verbal abuse of a sexual nature. “He was graphically describing giving me oral sex and how he was addicted to it,” said actress Jaime Ray Newman of her encounter. Again, Ratner denied her story through his attorney, denying such an incident ever happened and calling it a “ridiculous claim”.
In a 10-page letter in response to The Times, Singer said: “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.”
Meanwhile, Ratner’s planned Hugh Hefner biopic starring Jared Leto has been put on hold following the allegations. “We are deeply troubled to learn about the accusations against Brett Ratner. We find this kind of behavior completely unacceptable,” a Playboy spokesperson said in a statement to The Wrap. “We are putting all further development of our projects with RatPac Entertainment on hold until we are able to review the situation further.”
Straight from the NME
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