Six women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, have accused director and producer Brett Ratner of sexual misconduct or abuse, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
As the allegations of misconduct and abuse against men like Harvey Weinstein and director James Toback stack up, more women are coming forward with accusations that they’ve kept secret for years. Henstridge, Munn and four other women came to the LA Times with allegations of misconduct, harassment and abuse meted out by Ratner on movie sets, in private homes, or at industry events.
When Henstridge was 19, she alleges that she fell asleep on Ratner’s couch in New York City after hanging out with friends. When she woke up, they were alone and Ratner blocked her from leaving, then began touching himself and eventually forced her to have oral sex with him.“He strong-armed me in a real way. He physically forced himself on me,” she told the LA Times. “At some point, I gave in and he did his thing.”
Another actress, Jamie Ray Newman, told the LA Times about the first time she met Ratner, on a flight in 2005. Ratner had allegedly switched seats with his assistant so that he could sit next to Newman, and allegedly spent the duration of the flight detailing the sex acts he’d like to perform on her, in exacting detail. “He was graphically describing giving me oral sex and how he was addicted to it,” she told the LA Times. After the incident, Newman told family and friends but never went public. Another actress, Katharine Towne, alleges that when she first met Ratner at a party in 2005, it was clear that he wanted to sleep with her. He followed her into the bathroom, where Towne allegedy tried to deflect his advances by making a joke about her weight. She then gave Ratner her number in an attempt to get him off her case; his assistant allegedly contacted her for six months following the incident, trying to set up a dinner date.
Olivia Munn’s alleged experience with Ratner is highly specific and disturbing. She says she first met Ratner on the set of a movie; she was asked to drop some food off to Ratner’s trailer, with the assurance that he would not be present. From the LA Times:
Munn entered Ratner’s trailer and quickly placed the food on a table. She said she was startled to find him inside. She tried to make a quick exit, but Ratner implored her not to leave.
“He walked out ... with his belly sticking out, no pants on, shrimp cocktail in one hand and he was furiously masturbating in the other,” Munn said. “And before I literally could even figure out where to escape or where to look, he ejaculated.”
Munn said she let out a “startled scream” and raced out of the trailer. She said she immediately told the man who had asked her to deliver the food. His reaction? “It wasn’t a shock. It wasn’t surprise,” Munn recalled. “It was just, ‘Ugh, sorry about that.’”
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Munn wrote an anonymized version of this story in her book Suck It, Wonder Woman! The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek; in 2011, Ratner came forward as the man in the story during an appearance on Attack of the Show, saying “I used to date Olivia Munn, I will be honest with everybody here. When she was ‘Lisa.’ That was the problem. She wasn’t Asian back then. I banged her a few times ... but I forgot her,” he said.
Ratner’s lawyer, Martin Singer, issued a ten page letter to the Los Angeles Times, vehemently denying every single claim. “I have represented Mr. Ratner for two decades, and no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment,” he wrote. “Furthermore, no woman has ever requested or received any financial settlement from my client.”