Attorneys for filmmaker Brett Ratner have filed a motion to restrict defense lawyers from probing too deeply into allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
The Rush Hour director launched a civil defamation lawsuit against Melanie Kohler in November (17) after she publicly accused him of raping her in a post she wrote on Facebook, insisting her since-deleted message had ruined his professional reputation.
Six other women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, have also since come forward with accusations of inappropriate behavior, as part of a Los Angeles Times expose, but Ratner’s lawyers are attempting to put a lid on allegations launched at their client through the media.
Last week (ends29Dec17) Ratner’s attorneys filed court documents asking to restrict the scope of discovery, with lawyer Eric Seitz threatening to seek a protective order that would bar media disclosures from being submitted as evidence in the case.
“New York lawyers intend to try this case in the media and to depose and publicize any and all ‘bad acts’ allegedly committed by Plaintiff as a means to show that he likely committed the criminal misconduct she has falsely attributed to him,” Seitz wrote in the filing, obtained by Variety.
Ratner’s attorney also expressed concern over Kohler’s pro bono legal team, led by heavyweight lawyer Roberta Kaplan, claiming the scuba diver’s “unlimited funding” for her litigation expenses offers her an unfair advantage in the case against the filmmaker, who has an estimated net worth of $400 million.
Kohler’s defense lawyer Nicholas Monlux has already responded to the filing, insisting Ratner’s motion to limit discovery should be denied.
“If Ratner does not want his relevant ‘bad acts’ discovered by Kohler or made part of his public lawsuit, then the solution is not to launch baseless attacks against Kohler or her attorneys,” he wrote. “Rather, the solution is for him to dismiss his meritless lawsuit.”
Monlux also wrote off financial concerns over Kohler’s pro bono all-star defense team as a ridiculous excuse for trying to prevent others from submitting testimony that may harm the filmmaker’s case.
“Ratner may prefer to sue a victim who cannot afford to defend herself, but that preference is not his right, nor is it a basis for limiting discovery in this case,” Monlux wrote.
– Cover Media