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6 women accuse Hollywood producer Brett Ratner of sexual assault

Six women have come forward to accuse Ratner of sexual harassment or assault, including Natasha Henstridge and Olivia Munn.

by Alex Lubben
Nov 1 2017, 8:39am

Six women have come forward to accuse Hollywood producer Brett Ratner of sexual harassment or assault, according to a report from the LA Times.

It’s the latest in the series of allegations that have spiraled out from the Harvey Weinstein scandal. The women include Natasha Henstridge and Olivia Munn.

Through his attorney, Ratner “categorically” disputed all the allegations.

It’s long been known that Ratner — a prominent Hollywood financier who’s produced films like “The Revenant,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” and “War Dogs” — is braggadocious and plays up a fratty persona that is often homophobic and misogynistic. In an interview about the film “Tower Heist,” he said that “rehearsal is for fags,” and claimed in 2011 to have “banged” Olivia Munn, who now publicly accuses him of sexual harassment, “before she was Asian.”

Read: Everything we know about the Harvey Weinstein scandal

Ratner has a number of projects in the works now, including a Hugh Hefner biopic starring Jared Leto, a film adaptation of Donna Hartt’s novel “The Goldfinch,starring Ansel Elgort, and Christoph Waltz’s directorial debut, “Georgetown.”

The six women named in the LA Times report accusing Ratner of sexual harassment or assault are:

  • Natasha Henstridge, who claims that Ratner cornered her in a hotel room and forced her to perform oral sex.
  • Olivia Munn says that when she was working on the set of “After Sunset” in 2004, she went to Ratner’s trailer to deliver food and he masturbated in front of her. She described the incident in her memoir without naming Ratner, claiming the man was eating cocktail shrimp while he masturbated.
  • Jaime Ray Newman, the “Catch Me If You Can” actor, says she met Ratner on an Air Canada flight where he was “graphically describing giving me oral sex and how he was addicted to it.”
  • Katharine Towne, who acted in “What Lies Beneath,” says she met Ratner at a party where he followed her into a bathroom. When she gave Ratner her number to try to placate him, Ratner’s assistant caller her incessantly for the next six months to try to arrange a date.
  • Eri Sasaki, a then-21-year-old extra on the set of “Rush Hour 2,” says Ratner touched her inappropriately and asked her repeatedly to go into the bathroom with him. “Don’t you want to be famous?” she says he asked her.
  • Jorina King, also an extra on “Rush Hour 2,” says Ratner approached her to offer her a speaking part. He then invited her to his trailer and told her that he’d have to see her breast before givING her a speaking role. She refused and hid in a bathroom.

As each new story breaks in Hollywood, the Weinstein story seems to extend its reach into other workplaces. There have been accusations in magazine publishing — against people like Leon Wieseltier, the former literary editor of the New Republic, and Hamilton Fish, the publisher at the same magazine who was previously at The Nation — and workers’ unions. At the Service Employees’ International Union, the chief strategist of the Fight for $15 minimum wage campaign has been suspended after allegations of sexual harassment.

And NPR, on Wednesday, put its vice president of news, Michael Oreskes, on leave after two women came forward about unwanted kisses at business meetings when Oreskes was the Washington bureau chief for the New York Times. He’d already been warned in 2015, at NPR, after a female staffer complained to HR about him taking a career counseling session into “deeply personal territory.”