Director Brett Ratner is the latest major Hollywood name accused of sexual misconduct.
Several women have accused the Rush Hour filmmaker of inappropriate behavior, according to an investigation published by the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday. Ratner has “categorically” denied the allegations through his attorney, Marty Singer.
The most serious charge comes from actress Natasha Henstridge (Species), who accused Ratner of forcing her to perform oral sex on him in the early 1990s at his New York apartment when she was 19. “He strong-armed me in a real way. He physically forced himself on me,” she told the Times. “At some point, I gave in and he did his thing.” (Ratner acknowledged spending time with Henstridge but denied her claim through Singer, who said the actress was “upset after learning my client had a girlfriend who he would not leave.”)
Other accusations range from asking an extra for a sexual favor in exchange for a purported speaking role on the set of Rush Hour 2 in 2001, to aggressively hitting on actresses Katharine Towne and Jaime Ray Newman.
The story also recounts Olivia Munn’s infamous encounter with the director on the set of 2004’s After the Sunset. Munn previously wrote in her 2010 book, Suck It, Wonder Woman, about delivering food to an unnamed director’s trailer only to find him eating shrimp cocktail and masturbating. Ratner later admitted he was director she was referring to, but denied masturbating in front of her. Ratner later claimed he had “banged” Munn, only to take that statement back during an interview with Howard Stern in 2011.
“I have represented Mr. Ratner for two decades, and no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment,” Ratner’s lawyer Singer told the Times. “Furthermore, no woman has ever requested or received any financial settlement from my client.” Others quoted in the Times story likewise came to Ratner’s defense.
Ratner’s name surfaced previously in connection to the recent wave of sexual assault allegations against Hollywood figures when Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot raised eyebrows by canceling her plan to give Ratner a Jewish National Fund award on Sunday. But director Patty Jenkins stepped in to present the award instead and had high praise for Ratner.
Last month, after the New York Times, published its exposés on disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, Henstridge tweeted at the publication, claiming first-hand knowledge of another “Hollywood predator,” whom she did not name at the time. Henstridge also contributed to the #MeToo social media campaign.