he groundswell of allegations against Hollywood sexual abusers continues, and now, sickening patterns are coming to light. Earlier this month, director and producer Brett Ratner was accused of sexually assaulting six women, a claim he stringently denied. He even went so far as to sue one of his accusers for libel.
Now, the Los Angeles Times has published a horrifying report alleging that Ratner not only assaulted women, he helped others do the same, especially Def Jam Recordings mogul, Russell Simmons.
Ratner met Simmons in the late 1980s when he was a film student at New York University.
Noticing Simmons’ (well-documented) appetite for young models, Ratner set about procuring them for Simmons.
In his book Do You!: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success, Simmons said this of Ratner: “He was willing to do anything to be of use… After he hung around a bit and figured out that I liked models, then he made it his business to take me to every model’s apartment he could find.”
In fact, Ratner and Simmons became so close, Simmons once told "Vanity Fair," "He's my son, all right."
Simmons is not the only iffy Hollywood figure to say this of Ratner.
Robert Evans, the legendary producer who greenlit Chinatown, The Godfather, and Rosemary’s Baby, but was convicted of cocaine trafficking and was a person of interest in the notorious Cotton Club murder also acknowledged a special relationship with the director.
“I was his Hollywood father,” Evans said to Vanity Fair. “I don’t know whether I should be proud of that or not.”
In fact, it seems Ratner had a pattern of aligning himself with predatory older, powerful men.
James Toback. Robert Evans. Roman Polanski. Russell Simmons. All men with scandalous pasts – all men who had strong relationships with Ratner and partied with him at his Hollywood mansion, Hilhaven lodge (which Toback once referred to as his “second home”).
But Rather was especially close with Simmons, and now, it seems, he had a pattern of sharing extremely-young women with him.
Model Keri Claussen Khalighi met Ratner and Simmons in 1991 at a casting call. She says the men took her to Mr. Chow in New York, and then to Simmons’ apartment, purportedly to show her a music video they’d been working on. At that time, Ratner was still an up-and-coming music video director.
Once they got in the apartment, Khalighi alleges that Simmons immediately started ripping her clothes off. Frightened, she looked over to Ratner.
“I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face,” she said. “In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.” That wasn’t the worst of it, however.