Brett Ratner has filed a libel suit against a Hawaii woman who accused him of rape in a Facebook post, Variety reports. On October 20, Melanie Kohler, who operates a scuba school in Hawaii with her husband, wrote on her Facebook page that Ratner had “preyed” on her when she was drunk at a club. Kohler wrote that Ratner took her to Robert Evans’ home (he was living with the studio executive at the time), where he “forced himself on her, even after she repeatedly said “‘no.’” Kohler stated that she was coming forward with her story because she wanted the director held “accountable for the way he’s treated the nobodies of the world or at least the way he treated me.”
Ratner’s lawyer Marty Singer denied the allegation to Variety, calling it “completely fabricated.” But he reached out to Kohler on the day she posted about his client to tell her she was defaming Ratner. She took the post down (though Variety and other outlets nabbed screenshots before she did), and later explained that “Today was explained to me in five words: Lawyer up or shut up.” Despite this, Singer filed the libel lawsuit Wednesday, which happens to be the same day that the Los Angeles Times published the accounts of six actresses, including Natasha Henstridge and Olivia Munn, who say Ratner sexually assaulted or harassed them. The suit alleges Kohler caused Ratner “emotional distress, worry, anger, and anxiety,” as well as damage to his professional reputation, though again, the post was published just two weeks before the Times’ exposé which has taken a far more considerable toll on Ratner. Warner Bros. has reportedly all but washed its hands of him, and his Hugh Hefner biopic is no longer in production.