The man who lost out on hosting the 2012 Oscars for saying “Rehearsal is for fags” is the latest Hollywood power player to have sexual-misconduct allegations made against him.
Six woman have come forward with accusations against 48-year-old filmmaker Brett Ratner, best known for producing films like Rush Hour and its sequel and for being executive producer of the TV series Prison Break.
In a bombshell report published Wednesday in the Los Angeles Times, actress Natasha Henstridge made the most serious allegations against Ratner, saying that he forced her to perform oral sex on him when she was in his New York apartment in the early 1990s.
She said that she fell asleep on his couch while watching TV with friends and that when she woke up, everyone was gone, and he didn’t allow her to leave and then started touching himself.
“He strong-armed me in a real way,” she said. “He physically forced himself on me. At some point, I gave in, and he did his thing.”
Ratner, through his attorney Martin Singer, “categorically” disputed her account as well as those of five other women.
Neither Henstridge nor any of the other actresses who spoke with the news outlet said that they went to police.
Actress Olivia Munn, in sharing her account with the Times, said that she came forward because of persistent false rumors that she and Ratner had “been intimate,” and also in support of the other women who came forward. From the Times:
Olivia Munn said that while visiting the set of the 2004 Ratner-directed “After the Sunset” when she was still an aspiring actress, he masturbated in front of her in his trailer when she went to deliver a meal. Munn wrote about the incident in her 2010 collection of essays without naming Ratner. On a television show a year later, Ratner identified himself as the director, and claimed that he had “banged” her, something he later said was not true. The same year her book was published, Munn ran into Ratner at a party thrown by Creative Artists Agency and he boasted of ejaculating on magazine covers featuring her image, she told the Times.
Actress Katharine Towne told the Times that Ratner aggressively followed her into a bathroom as part of an unwanted sexual advance.
Another actress, Eri Sasaki, said that while she was working as an extra on the set of Rush Hour 2, Ratner “ran his index finger down her bare stomach and asked if she wanted to go into a bathroom with him. When she said no, she recalled Ratner saying, ‘Don’t you want to be famous?’”
He then asked her to go into the bathroom with him, said Sasaki.
Jorina King, who also worked as an extra on Rush Hour 2, said that Ratner said he needed to see her breasts after he invited her to his trailer to discuss a “speaking part.”
A sixth actress, Jaime Ray Newman, said that Ratner switched seats with his assistant in order to sit next to her on a plane, then proceeded to “graphically [describe] giving me oral sex and how he was addicted to it.”
Interestingly, Ratner, who once dated Serena Williams, has been keeping some interesting business-partner company. In 2013, the Times reports, he went into business with now-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s Dune Entertainment to create the investment vehicle RatPac-Dune Entertainment, which inked a co-financing deal with Warner Bros. worth about $450 million.