Film-maker Ratner accused of sexual misconduct

Six women have accused US film-maker Brett Ratner of sexual harassment or misconduct, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times yesterday, in a widening scandal over alleged sexual misdeeds in Hollywood's entertainment industry.

Ratner's attorney Martin Singer strongly denied what he called the "outrageous, derogatory allegations", saying in a statement: "We are confident that (Ratner's) name will be cleared once the current media frenzy dies down and people can objectively evaluate the nature of these claims.

"He understands the seriousness of this issue and the importance of addressing the concerns of victims of sexual misconduct both in the entertainment industry and beyond."

The Los Angeles Times report included on-the-record accounts by actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge.

The women alleged that Ratner had either masturbated in front of them, described sex acts, or made unwanted sexual advances in incidents dating back to the early 1990s on movie sets, private homes or at industry events.

Ratner, 48, is one of Hollywood's most successful directors and producers and his production company has a co-financing agreement with movie studio Warner Bros.