Summary: Brett Ratner’s alleged rape victim said he sued her in an attempt to silence victims.
Over ten years ago, actress Melanie Kohler said that she got drunk in Hollywood and that director Brett Ratner raped her. She detailed the account in an October 2017 Facebook post, and shortly after, she was contacted by Ratner’s attorney, Marty Singer, who demanded she take down the message. After Kohler complied, she was shocked that she was hit with a libel lawsuit. This week, she filed a motion to dismiss, according to Variety, and she claimed that Ratner was trying to silence her and stop others from coming forward.
A representative for Ratner, on the other hand, has said that he sued Kohler to protect his reputation.
“Brett Ratner vehemently denies the outrageous derogatory allegations that have been reported about him, and we are confident that his name will be cleared once the current media frenzy dies down and people can objectively evaluate the nature of these claims,” Singer said to GMA.
Since Kohler’s “outrageous” accusation, however, numerous women have come forward to accuse the Rush Hour and X-Men director of sexual assault or misconduct.
This week, Kohler filed a motion to dismiss Ratner’s case, and her legal team said that he had filed it with the intent to silence women.
“He has filed this defamation lawsuit with a single purpose–to silence and intimidate Ms. Kohler—and other women like her—from coming forward with stories of grave sexual mistreatment at his hands,” Kohler’s motion to dismiss stated.
In Kohler’s recent court filings, her legal team noted that famous women have since accused Ratner of sexual misconduct, and they said that his lawsuit violates California’s Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) law.
“Here, Mr. Ratner’s lawsuit threatens to chill speech that is a part of an important and historic public discussion on sexual assault and rape in Hollywood,” Kohler’s attorneys wrote. “As one of the most high-profile producers and directors in Hollywood, Mr. Ratner’s conduct is an important part of that discussion. And Mr. Ratner’s conduct already is very much a part of that discussion. More than a dozen actresses and other women have accused him of sexual assault and harassment—much of the alleged conduct having occurred in California and in the course of his work in Hollywood. California thus has a strong interest in ensuring a robust discussion about an issue of such importance to the State and one of its most high-profile residents.”
The libel lawsuit against Kohler was filed the same day that the Los Angeles Times published a scathing expose about Ratner, in which people like actress Olivia Munn accused him of abusing his power to violate women.
Ratner’s attorney said his client was not trying to silence anyone.
“It is nonsense that the defamation lawsuit filed against Ms. Kohler is a tactic of ‘trying to silence women.’ No such thing is occurring,” Singer told GMA in November.
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