(photo credit: DANNY MOLOSHOK/REUTERS)
Less than three days after he was honored by the Jewish National Fund, Hollywood director and producer Brett Ratner was accused of sexual harassment by at least six women.
In a Los Angeles Times article that ran on Wednesday, women recalled encounters with Ratner that left them uncomfortable, ashamed and traumatized.
Actress Olivia Munn said he masturbated in front of her and made regular crude comments about her. Model and actress Natasha Henstridge accused him of forcing her to perform oral sex on him.
In a statement to the LA Times
through his lawyer, Ratner denied all of the allegations.
On Sunday, Ratner was given the Tree of Life award from the JNF for his donations to the organization, in particular to its semester abroad program in Israel for high school students, in which he participated.
Originally, Gal Gadot was slated to present the award. But the actress backed out at the last minute, citing scheduling conflicts. The cancellation, however, was linked by many press accounts to as-of-then unreported allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
JNF went ahead regardless with the dinner and award for Ratner. In Gadot’s place, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins presented the honor.
Representatives for JNF did not respond to multiple requests for comment. They had also declined to react to or address the allegations before the awards dinner.
Ratner, a graduate of Jewish day school, is a supporter of many Jewish causes, and also serves on the board of trustees of The Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer who was accused last month of dozens of assault and rape charges, was also a prominent supporter of the Wiesenthal Center.
After the allegations surfaced, the organization said it had no idea of the accusations and was “removing his name from our roster of SWC honorees in all the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s publications.”