Olivia Munn is setting the record straight about standing up to “Rush Hour” director Brett Ratner, whom she alleges sexually harassed her over a decade ago. During a panel discussion at the Emily’s List pre-Oscars brunch at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills Tuesday morning, Munn revealed that Ratner called her in 2011 after he denied her accusation that he masturbated in front of her, and instead claimed he had “banged her” but “forgot her.”
“I’ve never told any of this story publicly, I’m in my hotel room in New York,” Munn said, “And I get this Caller ID blocked number, and I answer the phone and it’s Brett.”
“He said, ‘I was just joking about that. It’s just a joke and it got blown out of proportion,’“ she recalls. “He said, ‘Well look, we did date though, right?’ and I said, ‘No.’ And he’s like, ‘Are you sure we didn’t date?’ And at this point, I had this feeling that he was recording the conversation,” she said, explaining that they had only met because Munn had been invited by a friend to visit the set that day.
When she would not comply with his story, she said Ratner apologized and asked her to tell her Twitter followers that all was well. Munn said he also admitted that he was in hot water with the Academy, Disney, and Universal regarding his comments.
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When she declined to tweet on his behalf, he offered to make a public apology during his appearance on “Howard Stern” the next day. “I remember this feeling that that was it, that was the ring I could grab onto,” she recalls. “I said ‘Yes, tell them that you lied and we never dated.'”
To Munn’s memory, Ratner ended the phone call by saying “I am sorry, I just don’t know why everyone’s so mad at me.”
“Because you live life as if we’re all in your movie, and everyone that comes into your atmosphere is under your rule,” Munn responded. “But the moment you came after me, you came under my rule. And this isn’t going to be your moment in your world, this is going to be my moment in my world. And in my world, guys like you go home crying.”
Ratner later resigned from producing the 84th Academy Awards following homophobic remarks made later in his “Tower Heist” press tour.
For duration of the panel, which included Amber Tamblyn, Melissa Fumero, Kim Foxx and moderator Lisa Ling along with Munn, the women shared their thoughts on what work is still to be done in terms of supporting women in Hollywood and politics.
When it comes to whether redemption is ever possible for abusers in the public eye like Ratner, Tamblyn says we’re asking the wrong question.
“The question to me is not necessarily about when will we forgive, or when will culture as a society forgive, or when are they allowed to come back and direct another film. The question is, ‘What are they doing in their own life to show us that they’ve changed?’” Tamblyn said. “I’m focusing on the next wave of women and men who are coming in to create beautiful films, who are not problematic, who are not pulling their dick out in meetings.”
Other attendees at the second annual Emily’s List brunch included Maxine Waters, Cleopatra Coleman, Fatima Robinson, Felicity Huffman, Gloria Calderon Kellett, Ashley Rickards, Catherine Reitman, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jaime King, June Diane Raphael, Lala Kent, Minka Kelly, Natasha Rothwell, Nancy Meyers, Shiri Appleby, and Yvette Nicole Brown.