Brett Ratner Drops Defamation Lawsuit Against Rape Accuser Melanie Kohler

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After some behind-the-scenes deliberation, producer and director Brett Ratner has opted to drop his legal dispute with a woman named Melanie Kohler, reported Deadline. Kohler made a public Facebook post on October 20, 2017, alleging that Ratner raped her “one night in Hollywood about 12 years ago.” The post, which has since been taken down, goes on to say that Ratner, who is known for major box-office successes such as Rush Hour, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Revenant, and Horrible Bosses, took advantage of Kohler while she was too inebriated to consent. This prompted Ratner to sue Kohler for libel and he filed a lawsuit in Hawaii.

Ratner has been under fire lately for not only the Facebook post. The Los Angeles Times released a controversial story on him a mere two weeks after the initial post went up. Six other women, including actresses Oliva Munn and Natasha Henstridge, spoke to the publication and implicated Ratner of sexual assault. Munn spoke of an assault occurring while she was delivering food to Ratner’s trailer, and Henstridge claims Ratner once physically prevented her from leaving her apartment. According to Deadline, this resulted in Ratner facing major backlash, including losing a first-look deal with Warner Bros.

Brett Ratner speaking at a screening for the film "Before the Flood"
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While there are currently no lawsuits for the other allegations, Ratner and his attorney, Eric Seitz, claimed Kohler’s allegations, in particular, were “false, fabricated and fictional” and that the Facebook post caused Ratner “injuries to his personal and professional reputations” as well as “emotional distress, worry, anger, and anxiety.” The suit also alleged that Kohler made the post with malicious intent. Ratner initially sought damages, but now appears to have changed his mind, resulting in no money being exchanged between Ratner and Kohler.

“I have been honored to represent Melanie Kohler and we are pleased that Mr. Ratner agreed to dismiss this case,” Kohler’s attorney Roberta Kaplan said in a statement October 2. “Cases like this are very difficult, especially when the events happened more than a decade ago and memories are cloudy and unclear. The public conversation about this case has become very painful for Melanie. This result will allow Melanie to move on with her life and spend more time with her family. This is a win for women everywhere. We are proud of our client, who stood by her statement and stood up for herself in court, and appreciate Mr. Ratner dismissing this case.”

Ratner’s official statement to Deadline was much more subdued, and he told the publication he was simply “happy that the matter has been resolved.”