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Brett Ratner and Russell Simmons were investigated by police in 2001 after alleged sexual battery

Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES -- Beverly Hills police investigated filmmaker Brett Ratner and music mogul Russell Simmons in 2001 after a woman filed a report alleging that she was a victim of sexual battery.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office declined to file criminal charges due to insufficient evidence.

The investigation was first reported by Variety.

Lt. Elisabeth Albanese confirmed that on Nov. 3, 2001, at 4:45 a.m., a 29-year-old woman showed up at the Beverly Hills Police Department to file a report alleging that she was held against her will "by two males who both unlawfully touched her."

The woman said the incident occurred between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. at Ratner's Hilhaven Lodge, his home with a storied Hollywood pedigree.

News of the old allegations comes as Ratner has been publicly accused by eight women of sexual harassment and assault. After the Los Angels Times first reported the allegations from six women -- including actresses Natasha Henstridge, Olivia Munn and Jaime Ray Newman, two other women have also made allegations against him.

 

After the allegations surfaced, Warner Bros. cut ties with Ratner and his production company, RatPac Entertainment. The Burbank studio will not renew its production deal with Ratner and the fate of his company's $450-million co-financing agreement beyond 2018 remains unclear.

One of the women, Melanie Kohler, posted on Facebook that she had been raped by Ratner. He has since sued her for defamation.

Ratner's civil attorney, Martin Singer, strongly disputed that a police investigation occurred when contacted by Variety and threatened to sue the entertainment trade magazine. He later said that the incident involved another person, and that Ratner was not implicated, Variety reported.

Harland Braun, Ratner's criminal attorney, told Variety that both Simmons and Ratner cooperated with police, but that the allegations were not true.

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