Brett Ratner’s lawyers asked a judge on Wednesday to allow them to question the woman who has accused the producer of rape.
Ratner’s lawyers have accused Melanie Kohler of changing her story, and want the opportunity to examine her version of events under oath. Kohler wrote a Facebook post in October in which she accused Ratner of raping her at Bob Evans’ house in 2004 or 2005.
Ratner filed a defamation lawsuit in federal court in Hawaii in November, alleging that her story was malicious and false. Earlier this month, a judge rejected Kohler’s motion to dismiss the case. Kohler is now seeking to strike the complaint under California’s anti-SLAPP law, which provides robust protection for speech on matters of public interest.
Ratner’s attorneys, including Martin Singer and Eric Seitz, must now bring evidence showing a reasonable probability of prevailing on the merits of the case. In order to do that, they are allowed to seek limited discovery. The key thing they want is the chance to take Kohler’s deposition.
“Defendant must be required to testify about the details of the alleged assault, where it supposedly occurred, when it purportedly occurred, what allegedly happened before and after, when and who she supposedly told about the alleged incident, why she waited more than a decade to come forward, and most importantly, why she changed her story so materially since she went public with the claims,” the attorneys wrote.
The attorneys also want to ask Kohler about “the full details of her alleged interactions with Mr. Ratner because such discovery would allow Mr. Ratner to show by direct and circumstantial evidence that Defendant’s assault allegation was false, and that she knew it was false when she made it.”
Ratner’s lawyers also want access to Kohler’s correspondence about the allegation and about her decision to post about it on Facebook. The attorneys are also seeking any communications with media organizations, in their effort to show discrepancies in her story.
According to the motion, Kohler’s attorney Roberta Kaplan rejected the plaintiff’s request for a deposition after a hearing in Hawaii on Feb. 8.
In a statement to Variety, Kaplan said, “We think Mr. Ratner’s requests are unduly burdensome and look forward to these issues being discussed in court.”