Director and producer Brett Ratner announced on Wednesday that he has chosen to sever ties with Warner Bros. so as not to negatively impact them after six women accused him of sexual harassment or assault in a Los Angeles Times exposé published earlier that day. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the news and published Ratner’s statement on distancing himself from the powerful studio, which reads as follows:
“In light of the allegations being made, I am choosing to personally step away from all Warner Bros.- related activities. I don’t want to have any possible negative impact to the studio until these personal issues are resolved.”
Deadline’s report somewhat undermines Ratner’s play at autonomous choosiness in pointing out that as soon as Ratner’s statement was published, “sources familiar with the situation inside the studio called noting that as of right now, Ratner no longer has an office on the Warner Bros.’ lot. He has since been moved off the Goldfinch project, and his first-look deal with Warner Bros. will not be renewed.”
Actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge were among the six women who accused Ratner of misconduct or abuse. The allegations range from inappropriate airborne chatter about oral sex to forcing a woman to perform oral sex.
Ratner’s attorney, Martin Singer, denied all the women’s claims in a 10-page letter to the Times that read in part, “I have represented Mr. Ratner for two decades, and no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment.”
The other Ratner news of the evening, so far, comes from TMZ, which reports the director is suing Melanie Kohler for defamation. Kohler claimed in a Facebook post published on October 20 that Ratner raped her 12 years ago.