This past week, The Los Angeles Times broke the story that multiple women are accusing Brett Ratner of sexual assault and harassment. Now, Ratner is suing one of those women for defamation.
Melanie Kohler, a former marketing executive and the defendant named in the suit, isn’t the first to make a public statement about Ratner; actress Olivia Munn has recounted several incidents where Brett Ratner sexually harassed her. But so far Kohler is the only alleged victim that Ratner has targeted although, according to E! News, Ratner’s suit also names 10 to 11 Jane and John Does as “associates, co-actors, partners, officers, employees, agents and/or representatives of [Kohler] whose true names and capacities are as yet unknown to plaintiff despite due diligence and inquiry.”
Through his lawyers, Ratner describes the claim in a multitude of ways, all labeling Kohler’s story as untrue. In fact, the suit called her account “entirely false, fabricated and fictional,” and suggests that Kohler shared her story “with knowledge of its falsity, maliciously and with the intent to harm the plaintiff’s reputation and standing.”
But the most interesting part is that Ratner claims Kohler “did not have permission and was in no way privileged to publish her statement.”
Just to clarify, Melanie Kohler claims Ratner assaulted her, not someone else.
Meaning that she had every right to publish the statement. Here is that statement:
When Kohler was contacted by Marty Singer, Ratner’s lawyer, and threatened with a lawsuit, she took the post down. But when more allegations came out against Ratner, his team filed the suit.
So what is going to happen to Melanie Kohler?
We’ll have to see what decision the courts make. But in the meantime, allegations against Ratner keep piling up.
We hope this scary story doesn’t deter more women from coming forward. Our hearts go out to Melanie Kohler, and all the women with stories like hers.