Brett Ratner’s alleged inappropriate behavior was brought to the attention of New Line Cinema more than a decade before several women publicly accused him of sexual misconduct.
A sexual harassment complaint against Ratner was reportedly filed in the human resources department of New Line in 2005, former employees told Variety.The claim comes just days after the powerful producer was accused of raping a woman and sexually harassing six others, including actress Olivia Munn.
Terry Goddard, who worked as an assistant for New Line at the time, told Variety that Ratner was known for ogling assistants and making them uncomfortable.
“It’s humiliating to be objectified when you’re trying to do your work,” she told Variety. “People were just appalled.”
Goddard and other assistants filed a complaint with the company’s HR department about the director’s behavior, which seemed to stop after the complaint was made, she told Variety.
Another employee also told Variety that she complained to HR about Ratner’s behavior, but that he confronted her after the fact and questioned why she reported him.
Melanie Kohler, who in a Facebook post last month accusd Brett Ratner of rape, spoke to ABC News about the allegations and Ratner’s defamation lawsuit against her, Nov. 8, 2017.
The Hollywood producer’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, denied to the Daily News that his client was ever informed of the allegations.
“[RATNER] does not recall anyone from New Line or Warner Bros. ever contacting him about a complaint allegedly filed 12 years ago,” Brettler told The News.
Five other former New Line employees told Variety that they either witnessed Ratner behaving inappropriately or heard about his alleged harassment from others.
Eric Stabule, a former assistant for New Line, told the mag that New Line was known for being a “boys’ club” at the time — a period that was detailed in a 1998 article in Premiere Magazine, according to Variety.
“This was kind of the heyday of when a lot of this stuff was going on,” Stauble said. “There was a blind eye turned.”
Ratner was not an employee of New Line at the time, but directed some of the company’s big films like “Rush Hour,” “Money Talks,” and “Rush Hour 2.”
In 2005, New Line was independent and under Time Warner’s ownership. It has since become a division of Warner Bros.
A spokesperson for Warner Bros. told Variety that the company has “no evidence of any claim filed in this matter.”
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Ratner’s other lawyer, Marty Singer, issued a statement to the Los Angeles Times denying all of the allegations after the women accused of Ratner.
“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 in a 10-page letter to the Times.
“Furthermore, no woman has ever requested or received any financial settlement from my client.”
Ratner is suing the woman who accused him of rape for defamation.
On Friday, actress Ellen Page also accused Ratner of “outing” her as a gay when she was just 18.
“You should f–k her to make her realize she’s gay,” Page claims Ratner said to another woman about her during a meet and greet for “X Men: The Last Stand.”
“He ‘outed’ me with no regard for my well-being, an act we all recognize as homophobic,” she wrote. “I proceeded to watch him on set say degrading things to women. I remember a woman walking by the monitor as he made a comment about her ‘flappy p—y.'”