Director Brett Ratner has filed a libel lawsuit in Hawaii against a woman who, in a Facebook post, accused him of raping her.
In the Oct. 20 post, Melanie Kohler said Ratner “was a rapist on at least one night in Hollywood about 12 years ago,” and that he “preyed on me as a drunk girl [and] forced himself upon me,” according to quoted excerpts in the lawsuit.
Filed in Hawaii federal court by Ratner’s attorney, Eric Seitz, the suit “contends that the Defendant’s aforementioned statement is entirely false, fabricated and fictional.” The lawsuit also asserts that Kohler’s statement was published “with knowledge of its falsity, maliciously, and with the intent to harm plaintiff’s reputation and standing.”
The suit seeks special and general damages, punitive damages, and reimbursement of court costs.
The libel lawsuit comes on the same day the Los Angeles Times reported that six women accused Ratner of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to assault, among them actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge.
After the story, Playboy halted development of a Hugh Hefner biopic Ratner was to direct, and Ratner announced he would “step away” from his relationship with Warner Bros. Shortly after, individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap that the studio would not be renewing its first look deal with Ratner.