×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Judge Rejects Brett Ratner’s Bid to Question Rape Accuser

A federal judge in Hawaii will not allow Brett Ratner’s attorneys to take a deposition from Melanie Kohler, the woman who has accused the famed director of rape.

But, in a ruling issued Thursday, Judge Helen Gillmor did allow Ratner’s attorneys to submit written questions and seek Kohler’s correspondence with media outlets.

Ratner sued Kohler for defamation on Nov. 1, arguing that she damaged his reputation by writing a Facebook post in October that accused him of raping her more than 12 years ago. Kohler’s attorneys are seeking to dismiss the lawsuit under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, which protects speech on matters of public interest.

Under the statute, Ratner’s attorneys have the burden of showing a probability of prevailing on the merits of the case. In order to do that, they are allowed to obtain limited discovery from Kohler. Ratner’s attorneys, Eric Seitz and Martin Singer, asked Judge Helen Gillmor to allow them to take Kohler’s deposition, in which she would be asked details of the alleged rape and about alleged discrepancies in her story.

Kohler’s attorneys, including David Louie and Roberta Kaplan, objected to the broad scope of Ratner’s request. They requested that Ratner be allowed to ask no more than five written questions of Kohler. In her ruling, Gillmor rejected the request for a deposition, but allowed a broad range of written questions.

“Plaintiff has not established that a deposition is necessary at this stage in the proceedings,” Gillmor wrote. “Plaintiff may request answers to interrogatories from Defendant Kohler about the details of the alleged rape, where it supposedly occurred, precisely when it purportedly occurred, what allegedly happened before and after, who was present for the events before and after the alleged rape, when and to whom she told about the alleged incident, and any other interactions she had with Plaintiff Ratner.”

Gillmor also allowed Ratner to seek correspondence between Kohler and third parties about the alleged rape, including the L.A. Times and ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Kohler was interviewed on “Good Morning America” last fall.

The judge set a timeline for filing of arguments, with Kohler’s reply due on Aug. 10. A hearing on the motion to strike the suit has not been scheduled.

More Biz

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

  • promenade Cannes Croisette Cannes Placeholder

    Cannes Market Claims Record Visitor Numbers

    The Cannes Market, the Cannes Film Festival’s commercial wing, says that its 2019 edition welcomed a record number of participants. It reported 12,527 attendees. The largest group by nationality was from the U.S. with 2,264 participants, followed by France with 1,943 participants, and the U.K. 1,145. Comparable figures for 2018 were not available. The number [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Some Weinstein Accusers Balk at $30 Million Settlement

    Updated: Some of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers are balking at a proposed $30 million settlement of their harassment claims, which could scuttle the deal, Variety has learned. Attorneys in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy case told Judge Mary Walrath on Thursday that they are close to a global resolution of the civil litigation. The accusers, their lawyers [...]

  • Director Dean DeBlois and online game

    'Dragon' Director Dean DeBlois and PUBG's CH Kim to Keynote 2019 VIEW Conference

    Dean DeBlois, director and executive producer of DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and PUBG Corporation CEO CH Kim are the first keynote speakers announced for the 2019 VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy, in October. Since it began 12 years ago, VIEW, which stands for Virtual Interactive Emerging World, has continually [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Accusers Near Settlement in Bankruptcy Case

    Attorneys in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy case say they are getting close to reaching a settlement that would compensate Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct accusers. The company went bankrupt last year, as it faced hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and numerous civil suits on behalf of Weinstein’s alleged victims. The company sold to Lantern [...]

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content