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Javier Rojas/Pi/Zuma Press/PA Images Brett Ratner
brett ratner

Studio cuts ties with director after Olivia Munn and others accuse him of sexual misconduct

Munn claims Brett Ratner masturbated in front of her on a film set.

A HOLLYWOOD STUDIO has cut ties with film director Brett Ratner after six women — including actor Olivia Munn — accused him of sexual misconduct in a Los Angeles Times report published yesterday.

Playboy Enterprises quickly distanced itself from Ratner as his lawyer denied the allegations. Warner Bros has also reportedly severed ties with the director.

Ratner is the latest prominent Hollywood figure accused of sexual harassment. Yesterday Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman apologised for allegedly sexually harassing a 17-year-old intern in 1985.

Munn complained about Ratner’s on-set behaviour, alleging that while visiting the production of After the Sunset in 2004 he masturbated in front of her in his trailer. Munn described the incident, without naming Ratner, in a 2010 collection of essays.

Ratner’s lawyer issued a statement yesterday in which he said the director “vehemently denies the outrageous derogatory allegations” and is “confident that his name will be cleared once the current media frenzy dies down and people can objectively evaluate the nature of these claims”.

Ratner directed the Rush Hour film series, Red Dragon, X-Men: The Last Stand and Tower Heist.

Warner Bros

According to a source, Ratner will no longer occupy rented office space on Warner Bros’ lot in Burbank, California. He has also been removed from the adaptation of Donna Tartt’s novel The Goldfinch, which he had previously been set to produce.

Ratner’s production company RatPac Entertainment has a financing deal with the studio that will continue until March 2018. The $450-million (about €386 million) co-financing agreement was signed in 2013 and it remains unclear whether it will be renewed.

It has encompassed much of Warner Bros’s output, including Wonder Woman, It and Justice League. A Warner Bros representative declined to comment.

Ratner had previously said he would step away from work with Warner Bros for an unspecified amount of time. “I don’t want to have any possible negative impact to the studio until these personal issues are resolved,” he said.

Playboy Enterprises has shelved any of its projects that involved Ratner, including a biopic of Hugh Hefner which was due to star Jared Leto. “We are deeply troubled to learn about the accusations against Brett Ratner. We find this kind of behaviour completely unacceptable,” a statement read.

Ratner and Hoffman are the latest Hollywood figures to face allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct — a list that now includes producer Harvey Weinstein, writer-director James Toback, and actors Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Piven.

Read: Dustin Hoffman accused of sexually harassing a teenage intern during 1980s

Read: House of Cards production suspended following Kevin Spacey sexual assault allegations

Associated Foreign Press
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