Six women, including actor Olivia Munn, have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault against director and producer Brett Ratner, the man behind X-Men: The Last Stand, Rush Hour, and other Hollywood blockbusters.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Munn alleged Ratner masturbated in front of her on the set of After the Sunset, a film he directed in 2004 when Munn was still an up-and-coming actor.
Munn, who did not appear in the film, said the incident happened when she was taking a meal to Ratner's trailer as she was visiting the set. She told the paper she let out a "startled scream" and called her sister, Sara Potts, who backed up Munn's story.
“I've made specific, conscientious choices not to work with Brett Ratner,” Munn said.
Canadian actor Natasha Henstridge also claimed that when she was a 19-year-old fashion model the director "physically forced himself" on her and made her perform oral sex on him.
“He strong-armed me in a real way. He physically forced himself on me,” she said. “At some point, I gave in and he did his thing.”
Other women shared stories of Ratner sexually harassing them at parties, on movie sets, and on airplanes.
On Wednesday, Ratner issued a statement saying he would step away from his work with the studio.
"In light of the allegations being made, I am choosing to personally step away from all Warner Bros.-related activities," he said. "I don’t want to have any possible negative impact to the studio until these personal issues are resolved."
Martin Singer, Ratner's attorney, "categorically" denied all the women's allegations in a detailed statement on behalf of Ratner to the Los Angeles Times.
“I have represented Mr. Ratner for two decades, and no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment,” Singer said. “Furthermore, no woman has ever requested or received any financial settlement from my client.”
Warner Bros., a studio with which Ratner has extensive business ties, told BuzzFeed News that it was looking into the allegations. "We are aware of the allegations in the LA Times and are reviewing the situation," a spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
Sara Potts was not on the set of After the Sunset with Olivia Munn, a previous version of this article misstated that fact.
Michael Blackmon is an entertainment writer with BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Michael Blackmon at email@example.com.
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