Exclusive: Lawyer Of Woman Who Says Brett Ratner Raped Her Slams Defamation Suit

Exclusive: Lawyer Of Woman Who Says Brett Ratner Raped Her Slams Defamation Suit Hours after the Los Angeles Times published a story on Wednesday detailing sexual misconduct allegations by six women, some of them well-known actresses, against film director and producer Brett Ratner, he chose to sue Instead of pursuing litigation against any of the women named in the LA Times piece, he charged defamation against former Hollywood talent agency assistant Melanie Kohler, who had written a Facebook post detailing rape allegations against him that she deleted two hours after it went up

Kohler now has a powerful force at her side fighting Ratner’s suit: Roberta Kaplan, the lawyer who led the team representing Edith Windsor against the United States in the Supreme Court case that ruled the federal government had to recognize same-sex marriages Kaplan is representing Kohler on a pro bono basis After the New York Times, HuffPost and the New Yorker published allegations of sexual misconduct against disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein, Kohler was inspired to share her experience with Ratner and wrote a long account she posted on her Facebook page Ratner’s three-page complaint against Kohler (which is quite short for a major claim of defamation, according to three lawyers who spoke to HuffPost) quotes from three sentences from her Facebook post, which HuffPost is the first outlet to publish in its entirety HuffPost received the post five days ago, but at the time it had no name attached to it

Less than two hours after Kohler posted her account, she received a threatening phone call from Hollywood litigator Marty Singer, who represents Ratner According to a source familiar with the call, Kohler felt intimidated by Singer’s threats of litigation and deleted her post Singer also represents actor Danny Masterson (whom four women have accused of rape) and used to represent Bill Cosby in his claims against some of the women who accused him of sexual misconduct On Sunday, three days before the Los Angeles Times published its investigation into Ratner, Singer also sent an email to the lawyer who was representing Kohler at the time “Unless your client retracts the story to the LA Times today, Mr Ratner will immediately sue her for millions of dollars,” he wrote

It’s unknown if Kohler spoke to the LA Times, but she is not named in the story In the paper’s detailed report published Wednesday, actress Natasha Henstridge said Ratner in the early ’90s prevented her from leaving his New York apartment after a party, started to masturbate in front of her and forced her to perform oral sex In an interview with the Times, Henstridge said, “He strong-armed me in a real way He physically forced himself on me At some point, I gave in and he did his thing

” Actress Olivia Munn said Ratner masturbated in front of her when she went to his trailer on the set of one of his films in 2004 Four other women detailed allegations of sexual misconduct in the same Los Angeles Times story Ratner, through Singer, denied any allegations of sexual misconduct The movie director is facing allegations from two well-known actresses who likely have more resources at their disposal than Kohler, who runs a small business with her husband in Hawaii The actresses detailed their allegations in interviews with a major publication, and unlike Kohler’s Facebook post, their stories won’t be deleted

Kaplan sees Ratner’s move as a commonly used intimidation tactic: Instead of suing the famous, wealthy actresses who have accused him of misconduct in a prominent newspaper, Ratner is going after a woman who is no longer in the entertainment business, has no fame or significant financial resources, and whose story was public for less than two hours Kaplan told HuffPost that she believes Ratner is picking the most vulnerable accuser to make an example out of her “It’s hardly a surprise that they picked one woman to victimize again in an effort to bully other women into silence,” Kaplan said in a statement emailed to HuffPost “Mr Ratner and his lawyers can try to erase the truth through threats and intimidation, but courts decide cases based on the facts and the law So our response to Mr Ratner’s frivolous, four-page complaint is short and simple: See you in court

” Bill Burton, a former White House deputy press secretary and a managing director of the public affairs firm SKDKnickerbocker, is also representing Kohler pro bono “The goal of these lawsuits is to intimidate women,” he said in an email to HuffPost “Our goal is to stop the behavior Melanie will not be intimidated” After the Los Angeles Times published its story, a source told the paper that Warner Brothers won’t renew a production deal it has with Ratner

“In light of the allegations being made, I am choosing to personally step away from all Warner Bros-related activities,” Ratner said in a statement released to the media “I don’t want to have any possible negative impact to the studio until these personal issues are resolved”

Source: Youtube

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