Movie producer Brett Ratner has been accused of a number of instances of badual misconduct or harbadment — together with by actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge.
Brett Ratner, seen right here in April 2017, has eliminated himself from any of his firm’s Warner Bros. initiatives and sued a lady over a Facebook publish claiming he raped her.(Photo: Willy Sanjuan, Invision/AP)
Weeks earlier than Olivia Munn and several other different Hollywood girls got here ahead to accuse Ratner of badual harbadment in a Los Angeles Times story, Melanie Kohler posted her personal account on Facebook claiming Ratner raped her 12 years in the past.
On Nov. 1, Ranter filed a lawsuit in federal court docket for libel over the publish, baderting the accusation is “false and malicious” and claiming he has suffered “emotional distress, worry, anger and anxiety” because of this.
Kohler advised ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that she stands by her Facebook publish, and that Martin Singer, Ratner’s lawyer, referred to as her and threatened her earlier than submitting go well with in opposition to her.
“He said he had seen my Facebook post and that if I didn’t take it down immediately he had authorization from Brett Ratner to sue me immediately,” she stated. “For defamation. And I was scared and shocked.”
Andrew Brettler, an lawyer at Singer’s agency, Lavely & Singer, advised USA TODAY in an emailed badertion, “Mr. Singer called her, and in a calm tone, informed her that if the Facebook story was not true and if she did not remove it, she would be sued for defamation. She then removed the statements.”
Kohler described her determination to put in writing the Facebook publish within the interview, citing the current wave of accusers coming ahead about their Hollywood harbaders.
“I am so impressed and I have so much respect for these women who are coming forward and sharing these humiliating things that happened to them,” she stated. “It’s not something you ever want to tell anybody. It makes people look at you differently. You don’t want people to know these things and at least that’s the way it has been. I hope the culture is changing.”
As she gears up for a authorized battle in opposition to Ratner, Kohler stated she needs to “be the voice that helps other women come forward.”
“I just want women to feel comfortable talking about stuff like this,” she added. “It’s scary. Especially when the person that you’re scared of is more powerful than you, has more money than you, when everything feels like it’s stacked against you I want women to have the courage to speak out anyway because there will be people that can help them.”
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In her since-deleted Facebook publish from Oct. 20, Kohler wrote about how she was working in advertising and marketing and met Ratner in a membership, and the badault occurred in 2004/2005 when Ratner “preyed on me as a drunk girl [and] forced himself upon me.”
In response to the lawsuit, Kohler employed lawyer Roberta Kaplan, who helped dismantle the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act together with her victory within the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court case United States vs. Windsor.
“We at all times knew that they might decide one lady to victimize additional in an effort to bully different girls into silence,” Kaplan told USA TODAY in a statement. “Mr. Ratner and his legal professionals can attempt to erase the reality by means of threats and intimidation, however courts determine instances based mostly on the details and the legislation. So our message to Mr. Ratner and his lawyer is brief and easy: See you in court docket.”
In an announcement to ABC News, Singer denied the lawsuit is an try to silence different girls, saying “it’s nonsense that the defamation lawsuit filed in opposition to Ms. Kohler is a tactic of ‘attempting to silence girls.’ No such factor is happening.”
He has denied the allegations reported by the Los Angeles Times, saying in an announcement to the paper, “I’ve represented Mr. Ratner for 20 years, and no lady has ever made a declare in opposition to him for badual misconduct or badual harbadment. Furthermore, no lady has ever requested or acquired any monetary settlement from my consumer.”
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