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Sexual harassment and assault

Brett Ratner drops defamation lawsuit against rape accuser Melanie Kohler

The director was accused of assault last year by Melanie Kohler, but has dropped the suit. Kohler’s lawyer said that memories of the alleged event were ‘cloudy and unclear’

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2018, 7:48am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2018, 8:55am

Film director Brett Ratner has reportedly dropped his defamation lawsuit against Melanie Kohler, who publicly accused him of raping her, because of Kohler’s “cloudy and unclear” account of the alleged assault.

In a Facebook post last autumn, Kohler accused the Rush Hour director of raping her more than a decade ago – an account that came just days before The Los Angeles Times published allegations made by six other women accusing the producer of sexual misconduct.

Ratner then sued the former marketing executive for defamation in federal court in Hawaii. But on Tuesday, lawyers for the parties issued statements to Deadline signalling an end to the legal battle.

“I have been honoured to represent Melanie Kohler and we are pleased that Mr. Ratner agreed to dismiss this case,” Kohler’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, said in a statement.

“Cases like this are very difficult, especially when the events happened more than a decade ago and memories are cloudy and unclear,” Kaplan added.

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“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.”

Ratner’s lawyer, Martin Singer, built on that in his statement to Deadline.

“Since Ms. Kohler’s attorney has stated that her client’s memories are cloudy and unclear about alleged events from more than a decade ago, Mr. Ratner agreed to dismiss his lawsuit,” Singer said.

Kaplan and Singer did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.