Hollywood director Brett Ratner has filed a lawsuit against a woman who claimed he raped her more than 10 years ago. Melanie Kohler made the allegations in a Facebook post more than a week before Los Angeles Times broke its story about Ratner.
In the story published yesterday (1 November), six women, including actors Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, accused Ratner of sexually harassing or assaulting them. Kohler was not named in the report.
She went on to say that Ratner "preyed on me as a drunk girl [and] forced himself upon me".
Ratner's complaint calls the allegations "entirely false, fabricated and fictional", going on to say that the post was made "with knowledge of its falsity, maliciously, and with the intent to harm [Ratner's] reputation and standing".
The filmmaker's lawyers are seeking special, general and punitive damages, as well as a cover of the cost of legal fees.
In the Los Angeles Times report, Henstridge said that when she was 19 and working as a model, she found herself alone with Ratner, who "blocked the doorway with his body and wouldn't budge," before beginning to "touch himself" and forcing her to perform oral sex.
"He strong-armed me in a real way. He physically forced himself on me," Henstridge said. "At some point, I gave in and he did his thing."
Munn claims Ratner masturbated in front of her, an incident she wrote about without naming Ratner in her 2010 book Suck It, Wonder Woman!: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek.
"I've made specific, conscientious choices not to work with Brett Ratner," Munn said. "It feels as if I keep going up against the same bully at school who just won't quit. You just hope that enough people believe the truth and for enough time to pass so that you can't be connected to him anymore."
Ratner "vehemently" denied the allegations in a statement, calling them "outrageous" and "derogatory".
In response to the report studio Warner Bros, with which Ratner worked closest, cut all its ties with the director. A planned Hugh Hefner biopic Ratner was set to direct has also been shelved by Playboy Enterprises.