×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Brett Ratner’s Attorneys Seek to Limit Exposure of His Alleged Sexual Misconduct

As high-profile men toppled due to sexual harassment allegations over the couple of months, Brett Ratner was one of very few who fought back by taking his accuser to court. Ratner filed a libel suit on Nov. 1, accusing Melanie Kohler of damaging his reputation by writing a Facebook post in which she accused him of rape.

Now, his case is exposing the potential downside of that approach. In a legal filing last week, Ratner’s attorneys said they would seek to limit his accuser’s ability to probe into other allegations of sexual misconduct that have surfaced against the producer. Ratner has been accused of forcing women to perform oral sex and masturbating in front of women, as well as various forms of sexual harassment.

Attorney Eric Seitz said he would seek a protective order barring media disclosures in the case, and would also seek to limit the scope of discovery. In the filing, Seitz said he feared that Kohler’s “New York lawyers intend to try this case in the media and to depose and publicize any and all ‘bad acts’ allegedly committed by Plaintiff as a means to show that he likely committed the criminal misconduct she has falsely attributed to him.”

Kohler is being represented pro bono by a team of attorneys led by Roberta Kaplan, most famous for advocating on behalf of same sex marriage benefits in the Windsor case before the U.S. Supreme Court. In an earlier filing, her lawyers indicated they plan to take extensive depositions on the issue of Ratner’s professional reputation, in order to establish to what extent that reputation has been harmed. The attorneys also took note of “reports that he has had dozens of allegations similar to Defendant’s leveled against him.”

In a filing on Friday, Kohler’s attorney Nicholas Monlux argued that Ratner’s request to limit discovery should be denied.

“If Ratner does not want his relevant ‘bad acts’ discovered by Kohler or made part of his public lawsuit, then the solution is not to launch baseless attacks against Kohler or her attorneys,” he wrote. “Rather, the solution is for him to dismiss his meritless lawsuit.”

Ratner’s lawyer also expressed concern that Kohler “is being supported financially by persons and/or entities with unlimited funding” — in essence worrying that Kohler will be able to pursue an extensive fishing expedition against him.

In his reply, Monlux said that concern is “unfounded and irrelevant.” He noted that Kohler and her husband operate a scuba business in Hawaii, and cannot hope to match Ratner’s reported $400 million net worth.

“There is nothing improper about a defendant receiving financial assistance to support her defense,” Monlux wrote. “Ratner may prefer to sue a victim who cannot afford to defend herself, but that preference is not his right, nor is it a basis for limiting discovery in this case.”

Monlux also noted the “hypocrisy” of Seitz’s concern about trying the case in the media.

“Kohler first learned of this case by means of an article published in TMZ, in which Ratner’s attorney apparently provided facts that were not included in the Complaint,” Monlux wrote.

Kohler’s attorneys are expected to file a motion to dismiss Ratner’s suit in the coming days.

More Biz

  • Kodak Black Arrested at Border on

    Kodak Black Arrested at Border on Gun and Drug Charges

    Rapper Kodak Black and three other people were arrested after they allegedly attempted to cross the U.S.-Canada border with guns and marijuana, officials told NBC News on Thursday. The 21-year-old rapper missed concerts at the House of Blues in Boston on Wednesday night after he was stopped at the Lewiston-Queenston International Bridge near Buffalo hours [...]

  • Portugal. The Man to Perform at

    Portugal. The Man to Perform at ASCAP ‘I Create Music’ Expo

    Portugal. The Man will perform at the 2019 ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo, joining a line-up that includes Questlove, Wyclef Jean, Lee Ann Womack, Victoria Monét, “Shallow” co-writer Anthony Rossomando and Matthew Koma among other music creators. The Expo takes place May 2-4 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles. The group, who were [...]

  • The Nashville, Tenn. downtown area and

    Nashville City Council Sides With Songwriters Against Streamers’ CRB Appeal

    Nashville city leaders have sided against the streaming services Amazon, Spotify, Google and SiriusXM/Pandora in the appeal of the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision that would give songwriters a pay raise. The Nashville Metro Council adopted the resolution as part of its consent agenda earlier this week, although the move is “purely symbolic” and the streamers [...]

  • Mueller Report Released: Networks Cut the

    Networks Curb Their Enthusiasm, William Barr Flexes as Mueller Report Goes Public

    The run-up to Attorney General William Barr’s news conference regarding the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the conduct of President Donald Trump suggested it was just one component part of a busy news day, something close to business as usual. And the broadcast — in which Barr stormily defended the President as [...]

  • Paradigm Names Marty Diamond Head of

    Paradigm Names Marty Diamond Head of Global Music

    Paradigm Talent Agency has named Marty Diamond the Head of Global Music, leading the agency’s representation artists worldwide, the company announced today. His personal client roster includes Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Halsey, Janelle Monáe, Sigur Rós, Sara Bareilles, Liam Gallagher, Sia, Lorde, Alessia Cara, Bastille, Snow Patrol, Jess Glynne and Vance Joy. Diamond will head Paradigm’s [...]

  • View Conference Opens Registration for 2019

    2019 View Conference Opens Registration, Calls for Short Film Competition Entries

    Registration is now open for the 2019 edition of the View Conference in Turin, Italy. No speakers have been announced yet, but past conferences have featured some of the world’s top creative talents in visual effects, animation, gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. Last year’s edition featured composer Hans Zimmer, Paramount Animation topper [...]

  • Kamala Harris Democratic candidate for US

    UCLA, Howard University Partner on Internship Program to Foster Diversity in Hollywood

    Increased focus on college students may be one way to pave a more diverse future in Hollywood. A new program from the UCLA Anderson School for Management’s Summer Institute at the Center for MEMES (Media, Entertainment & Sports) in partnership with Howard University gives students the opportunity to learn the ropes of the entertainment industry [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content