Brett Ratner’s past comments continue to haunt him.
The 48-year-old producer, who was accused of sexual harassment and assault by six women in a bombshell Los Angeles Times piece this week, engaged in an uncomfortable back-and-forth with businessman Jean Pigozzi in a newly-unearthed clip.
In the 2014 clip – from the now-defunct Esquire Network’s My Friends Call Me Johnny – the Rush Hour director was explaining to Pigozzi that his love of classic cinema was so deep, he’d happily shun a stunning starlet to commiserate with his inner circle of show business veterans (a few of whom have recently been accused of sexual impropriety themselves).
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Shocking remarks: Brett Ratner said in a 2014 interview on the Esquire Network’s My Friends Call Me Johnny that he’s ‘never made love to an intelligent woman,’ years after publicly dating stars such as Serena Williams, Lindsay Lohan, Maggie Q and Rebecca Gayheart
‘I’m known in this town for being the guy who loves the old Hollywood guys. From Bob Evans to Warren Beatty to [James] Toback, these guys are sixty, seventy … to Roman Polanski, who’s almost eighty – I’d rather hang out with these guys than the most beautiful women in the world.
‘Yes, we love and appreciate beautiful women, but [I prefer] to sit all day in the house of Roman Polanski and talk about movies, even though he’s under house arrest.’
Pigozzi lauded Ratner’s reverence in soaking up wisdom from the older generation as something of ‘an apprentice to life,’ then comparing it to his reputation as a playboy.
‘So Brett, how can you do that … and then another time, you can spend hours talking to some completely stupid girl trying to get laid,’ Pigozzi said, as Ratner cackled. ‘I think you deserve a Nobel Prize, for listening to this b—h!’
Ratner added, ‘That’s the thing where we’re completely different: Johnny can only make love to an intelligent woman – I’ve never made love to an intelligent woman.’
The comments in the 2014 clip came years after Ratner was in public, high-profile romances with actresses Lindsay Lohan, Maggie Q and Rebecca Gayheart, Victoria’s Secret model Alina Pușcău and tennis player Serena Williams, though he didn’t refer to any of the women specifically by name.
They came three years after Ratner’s graphic interview with Howard Stern added to a public controversy that eventually saw him withdraw as the producer of the 2012 Oscars.
Cringe-worthy: Host Jean Pigozzi (L) joked about the juxtaposition between Ratner soaking up wisdom from older Hollywood veterans, then spending ‘hours talking to some completely stupid girl trying to get laid’
Ill-advised? Ratner’s 2014 interview with Pigozzi came after errant remarks saw him pull out of producing the Academy Awards
In the November 2011 chat, Ratner boasted about his prowess at performing oral sex on women, making them cry in ecstasy; claimed he sends women to a doctor to get checked for diseases before engaging in sex with them; and said he made actress Olivia Munn ‘look like a whore’ amid a back-and-forth in the media stemming from their varied accounts of a 2004 incident detailed in the Times piece.
Ratner, via his lawyer Marty Singer, has ‘categorically’ denied all of the ‘outrageous, derogatory allegations’ levied against him in the newspaper article.
It’s been a difficult week for the filmmaker, who just a week ago was honored by the Jewish National Fund with Tree of Life Award for his charity toward Israel.
Playboy: Ratner has had a number of high-profile relationships, as he posed with Lindsay Lohan in 2006 (L) and Victoria’s Secret model Alina Pușcău in 2008 (R)
Past romances: Ratner was snapped with another beautiful ex in actress Maggie Q in Beverly Hills in 2008
In the spotlight: Ratner famously dated tennis legend Serena Williams in the mid-2000s
After the expose was published Wednesday, Playboy Enterprises said it was ‘deeply troubled’ by the accusations and suspended work of a biopic of deceased founder Hugh Hefner that Ratner was slated to direct and produce.
Ratner’s lucrative business ties to Warner Bros. have also come to a screeching halt, as the director said in a statement he was ‘choosing to personally step away from’ the studio to avoid impacting it negatively ‘until these personal issues are resolved.’
Domino effect? Ratner in 2012 posed at a French benefit with embattled producer Harvey Weinstein, whose own scandal set forth a rash of allegations against a number of powerful show business figures, and a national conversation on sexual harassment
Confidantes: Ratner in 2013 posed with friend and mentor James Toback, another filmmaker who has come under fire in the past month with allegations of sexual impropriety
Reverence: Ratner was snapped in 2007 in Paris with another mentor in Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski, who has not stepped on U.S. soil in nearly 40 years amid his admission to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977
In addition, sources told Deadline Ratner no longer has a office on the studio lot.
Ratner has gone on the offensive toward at least one of his accusers (who wasn’t mentioned in the newspaper piece). He filed a defamation suit in Hawaii against a woman named Melanie Kohler Wednesday, after Kohler claimed in an October 20 Facebook post that he had raped her in 2005.
‘We are confident that his name will be cleared once the current media frenzy dies down and people can objectively evaluate the nature of these claims,’ Ratner’s lawyer Singer said in a statement Wednesday. ‘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.’
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