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Brett Ratner and Warner Bros. CEO Embroiled in Lurid Sex Scandal

Disgraced Director Brett Ratner Embroiled in Lurid New Scandal

Once known for his box office hits, Ratner is now associated with homophobia and sexual harassment. He's now accused of facilitating Hollywood's "casting couch."

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Producer/director Brett Ratner -- who resigned as Oscar producer in 2011 after using an antigay slur and was accused of homophobia by his X-Men: The Last Stand star Ellen Page -- is now embroiled in a salacious story involving Hollywood's most powerful studio chief.

Kevin Tsujihara, CEO of Warner Bros., is accused of trying to advance the career of British actress Charlotte Kirk after they allegedly had a sexual relationship. Hundreds of their text messages were leaked to The Hollywood Reporter, and showed that Ratner and his producing partner James Packer (an ex-fiancee of Mariah Carey) were involved in introducing Kirk to Tsujihara and helping her obtain auditions and movie and TV roles.

At the time of the 2013 introduction of Kirk to Tsujihara -- which took place at the Hotel Bel-Air -- Ratner and Packer were negotiating a $450 million deal with Warner Bros. The deal closed three days after the actress allegedly had her rendeazvous with the studio head, according to THR journalists Tatiana Siegel and Kim Masters.

Kirk increasingly demanded movement on her career, according to the text messages. In 2015, she texted the following to Tsujihara: "You're very busy I know but when we were in that motel having sex u said u would help me and when u just ignore me like you're doing now it makes me feel used. Are u going to help me like u said u would?"

All three men became involved in attempting to placate Kirk. "Eventually, Ratner seemed to take the lead in attempting to manage the situation and, via attorney Marty Singer, brokered a proposed settlement agreement that would have assured her auditions as well as an appearance in a Ratner-directed movie," THR reports.

The agreement was never signed. An internal Warner Bros. investigation into the matter was launched in the fall of 2017, but investigators claimed no wrongdoing was found. Tsujihara, Kirk, Ratner, and Packer maintain nothing improper took place between them, with Kirk saying Tsujihara did not promise to advance her career and Ratner only aided her out of friendship (the text messages seem to belie these claims).

Ratner's attorney, Marty Singer, told THR, "Brett Ratner did nothing wrong and had the best intentions. While he offered to help get Ms. Kirk a limited number of auditions, he consistently told her that she would have to earn any job herself."

WarnerMedia, the parent company of Warner Bros. and now part of AT&T, is investigating the matter again.

Ratner has previously been accused by at least six women of sexual harassment and assault.

Out actress Ellen Page said Ratner outed and humiliated her on the set of X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006, specifically telling her to have sex with another actress. Page wrote the following on Facebook in November 2017: "'You should f-- her to make her realize she's gay.' He said this about me during a cast and crew 'meet and greet' before we began filming, 'X Men: The Last Stand.' I was eighteen years old. He looked at a woman standing next to me, ten years my senior, pointed to me and said: 'You should fuck her to make her realize she's gay.' He was the film's director, Brett Ratner."

Ratner, describing his job producing the 2012 Oscars, said at a film screening, "Rehearsing is for fags." He resigned from the gig soon after. In 2007, Ratner gave an interview to The Advocate where he misgendered and sexualized trans women.

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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.