HOLLYWOOD—Director Brett Ratner, 48, has been accused of sexual harassment by several women.
Ratner has been accused of making sexual advances on six women during his career, adding his name to the growing list of Hollywood elite accused of such actions. Recent names include Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, Ben Affleck, Dustin Hoffman, Jeremy Piven and Kevin Spacey.
Actress Natasha Henstridge, who appeared in the films “The Whole Nine Yards” and “Species” was the first to come forward. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, she indicated that Ratner forced her to give him oral sex. Henstridge stated he “strong-armed me in a real way. He physically forced himself on me.”
Actress Olivia Munn, who appeared on the HBO show “The Newsroom,” and the films “Magic Mike and “X-Men: Apocalypse,” has also accused Ratner of sexual harassment. She told the Los Angeles Times that, while visiting the set of “After the Sunset,” she met Ratner. Munn explained that Ratner masturbated in front of her as she was delivering food to his trailer. The actress wrote about the incident in a book she published, but left out names and details of the event.
Speaking through his attorney, Martin Springer, Ratner is denying all claims. Springer told the LA Times, “I have represented Mr. Ratner for two decades, and no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment.”
He mentions that Ratner has never been asked to pay a financial settlement for any women. On Wednesday, Ratner himself announced that he was going to sue a woman for defamation after claiming he raped her 12 years earlier. Ratner has severed ties with Warner Bros. with all projects in the midst of the claims.
“In light of the allegations being made, I am choosing to personally step away from all Warner Bros.- related activities,” said Ratner in an official statement. “I don’t want to have any possible negative impact to the studio until these personal issues are resolved.”
Ratner is known for directing blockbuster films such as “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Rush Hour” and “Red Dragon.” He also produced the films “The Revenant” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and “Horrible Bosses” starring Jennifer Aniston.