Olivia Munn and five others accuse Brett Ratner of sexual abuse.

Six Women, Including Actress Olivia Munn, Accuse Brett Ratner of Sexual Harassment, Misconduct

Six Women, Including Actress Olivia Munn, Accuse Brett Ratner of Sexual Harassment, Misconduct

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 1 2017 10:16 AM

Six Women, Including Actress Olivia Munn, Accuse Brett Ratner of Sexual Harassment, Misconduct

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Brett Ratner attends the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar party.

Jean-Baptiste Lacroix/AFP/Getty Images

Six women, including Natasha Henstridge and Olivia Munn, have accused producer and director Brett Ratner of sexual harassment or other misconduct in a new report from the Los Angeles Times. Through his attorney Martin Singer, Ratner “categorically” disputed the women’s accounts to the Times.

In the report, Henstridge says that in the early 1990s, she had been spending time with friends in Ratner's apartment when she fell asleep during a movie. When she woke up, the others had left, and she alleges that Ratner physically blocked her from leaving his apartment, masturbated in front of her, and forced her to perform oral sex on him. She was 19 years old at the time of the alleged incident.

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Munn told the Times that in 2004, Ratner allegedly masturbated in front of her in his trailer on the set of After the Sunset, an incident she had previously described in her 2010 memoir without identifying Ratner by name. (In 2016, Ratner acknowledged that he was the director being described in Munn's account but denied that the incident ever took place, claiming to have “banged” Munn; a few days later, he admitted to Howard Stern that he lied about having sex with her.)

Also in the Times report: Actress Jaime Ray Newman accused Ratner of making sexually explicit comments to her on an airplane and showing her nude photos of his then-girlfriend in 2005.* Katharine Towne says that Ratner pursued her at a party in his home, also in 2005, allegedly making unwanted advances and following her into a bathroom.* She also said that Ratner’s assistant called her for six months afterward trying to arrange a dinner. And Eri Sasaki and Jorina King, both extras on Rush Hour 2, each accuse Ratner of propositioning them sexually by offering them speaking parts in the film.

In addition to denying the claims individually, Singer told the Times in a 10-page letter: “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.”

Some of Ratner's colleagues spoke on the record to say that they did not witness any misconduct, including five of Ratner’s former assistants who told the Times they “did not witness him misbehave and praised him as a boss and mentor.”

Henstridge attributed her decision to speak out about Ratner at this moment to the hundreds of women who have have publicly accused Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, and others in Hollywood over the past several weeks. As the article notes, Ratner counted Toback—and Roman Polanski—among his “closest friends” in a January interview with Variety.

*Correction, Nov. 1, 2017: This post originally misspelled Jaime Ray Newman’s first name. It also misspelled Katharine Towne’s first name.