Brett Ratner files defamation suit against rape accuser

Producer and director Brett Ratner has filed a defamation suit against a woman who claims she was raped by him 12 years ago.

The defamation suit was filed in Hawaii's Federal Court and relates to a posting on the woman's Facebook account, which has since been deleted.

The suit says the defamation arises "from the defendant's deliberately false and malicious accusations that plaintiff raped the defendant 'about 12 years ago'," according to media reports.

Earlier this week six women alleged in a report in The Los Angeles Times that they were either sexually harassed or sexually assaulted by Ratner.

The woman involved in the defamation suit, Melanie Kohler, is not one of the six women in The Los Angeles Times report.

The defamation suit alleges Kohler "on or about October 20, 2017, recklessly and/or intentionally posted a statement on her Facebook page claiming that 'Brett Ratner raped [her]'."

In her Facebook posting, Kohler said she had met the director at club in Los Angeles 12 years ago.

According to the suit, Kohler alleged that Ratner "preyed" on her when she was drunk.

"I'm embarrassed, humiliated, ashamed, and wish I could go back to forgetting it ever happened," Kohler wrote. "But if I do that, if we all do that, then it keeps happening. We have to come forward.

"I can't be an advocate for women speaking out if I don't speak out, too," she said.

The lawsuit calls the rape allegation "deliberately false and malicious."

The posting was deleted by Kohler after she was contacted by Ratner's Los Angeles-based lawyer, Martin Singer.

Singer told the trade publication Variety he did not threaten Kohler, but said she could "be sued if she didn't take it down."

Kohler subsequently deleted the post.

Singer is not representing Ratner in the defamation suit; the suit was filed on Ratner's behalf by attorney Eric Seitz.

The defamation suit comes as Ratner is fighting accusations of sexual harassment or misconduct by six women, including actresses Natasha Henstridge and Olivia Munn.

TheLos Angeles Times has published accounts by Henstridge, Munn and four other women, detailing encounters with the 48-year-old producer in which he either forced himself on them, performed lewd acts or spoke crudely about his sexual activities.

Ratner is one of a number of high-profile Hollywood men swept up in a scandal which began when Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Allegations have also surfaced about now former Amazon executive Roy Price, director James Toback, producer Chris Savino and actors Dustin Hoffman and Kevin Spacey.

Henstridge told the newspaper that Ratner had "strong-armed" her into performing oral sex on him during an encounter at his apartment in New York.

Ratner's lawyer, Martin Singer, denied the claims in a statement sent to The Los Angeles Times.

Singer said he had represented Ratner for two decades and in that time "no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment [and] no woman has ever requested or received any financial settlement" from him.

This story Brett Ratner files defamation suit against rape accuser first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.