Brett Ratner, the director of ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ and ‘Rush Hour’, has been accused of sexual misconduct by six actresses including ‘Species’ star Natasha Henstridge, who says the 48-year-old filmmaker “forced her to perform oral sex” on him.
Ratner’s attorney has “categorically” denied all the accusations.
The filmmaker, whose production company RatPac-Dune Entertainment is responsible for ‘The Revenant’, ‘Gravity’, and 2017’s ‘Justice League’, faces a wide range of claims of harassment and misconduct in an explosive new expose by the LA Times.
Henstridge says Ratner “physically forced himself” on her after finding herself alone with him in his apartment in the early 2000s. “He strong-armed me in a real way. He physically forced himself on me,” she said. “At some point, I gave in and he did his thing.”
Henstridge decided to come forward in the wake of the string of accusations levelled at Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, and a number of other powerful Hollywood players.
Olivia Munn, who starred in 2004’s Ratner-directed ‘After The Sunset’, says the director masturbated in front of her after she delivered a meal to his trailer on the set. The actress had previously detailed the encounter in her book ‘Suck It, Wonder Woman! The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek’, without naming the filmmaker, but now she’s spoken to the LA Times about the incident in support of the other women who are “brave enough to speak up.”
Actress Jaime Ray Newman, who stars in Netflix’s new Marvel show ‘The Punisher’, said she met Ratner on a flight in 2005 and that he began acting inappropriately within five minutes of the plane taking off.
“He was graphically describing giving me oral sex and how he was addicted to it,” Newman said.
Actress Katharine Towne (‘What Lies Beneath’) says she met the director at a party in 2005, where he aggressively followed her into a toilet and locked the door, before “making it evident that he had one motive” – to sleep with her.
Ratner is also accused of offering a line of dialogue in his film ‘Rush Hour 2’ in exchange for sexual favours by Eri Sasaki, an aspiring actress who was 21 and working as a background extra on the film. The accusation is echoed by that of Jorina King, another background artist on the film, who says Ratner offered her a speaking part, and was asked to expose her breasts in the director’s trailer. She rejected his advances, hiding in a restroom.
Ratner’s attorney Martin Singer refuted all the claims on the filmmaker’s behalf. “I have represented Mr. Ratner for two decades, and no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment,” Singer said in a 10-page letter to The Times. “Furthermore, no woman has ever requested or received any financial settlement from my client.”
Ratner was recently honoured with the Tree of Life Award for his philanthropic work for Israel by the Jewish National Fund. ‘Wonder Woman’ director Patty Jenkins presented the award after Gal Gadot pulled out citing “scheduling conflicts”.