Coming forward

Natasha Henstridge speaks out about sexual assault allegations against Brett Ratner

Natasha Henstridge. (YouTube / NBC News)

Movie star Natasha Henstridge appeared on Megyn Kelly Today on Wednesday and opened up about her sexual assault allegations against movie director Brett Ratner. All told, nine women have publicly accused Ratner of sexual misconduct and Kelly said up to 45 have reached out to the Los Angeles Times reporter who broke the story with similar accusations, though many are not yet ready to go public. During her appearance, Henstridge also detailed a masturbation encounter she allegedly once had with Harvey Weinstein.

Henstridge has accused Ratner of forcing her to perform oral sex on him when she was just 19 years old and not even in the movie industry yet. She has said that she visited Ratner’s apartment with friends, but fell asleep and when she awoke, her friends were gone. “One thing led to another,” she said, and Ratner “blocked the door” and refused to allow her to leave. “At first I thought he was just coming on strong, and trying to convince me that there was something between us, and that he was trying to be super convincing. That was my initial thought until I made more of an effort to sort of get out. That is when I realized he wasn’t playing around anymore. He just got very aggressive.”

She said Ratner finally let her leave and she felt “pretty terrified” and broke into tears on her way home. Henstridge said she felt “horribly ashamed” and remembered “feeling dirty, feeling gross, feeling all of those things but also realizing that I had nothing to do with it, I had no say in it. It was a horrible situation.”

Henstridge said many people have asked her, “How can that happen? How can someone force you into oral sex?” Her explanation: “When you are afraid of someone, when you physically don’t know what someone is capable of … ” Her voiced trailed off as she began crying. “When you are afraid of them, you don’t know what they are capable of doing, and therefore you submit. And I submitted. I did submit.” Ratner has denied all of the allegations against him through his attorney, and has dismissed Henstridge’s accusations saying she was upset when she learned he had a girlfriend that he wouldn’t leave to be with her.

Henstridge also detailed a disturbingly familiar story about Harvey Weinstein. ‘Lucky me,” deadpanned before revealing that he once masturbated in front of her. Henstridge told Kelly she agreed to attend what was ostensibly a business meeting with Weinstein at his hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival. The meeting quickly took a turn, Henstridge said, “he repeatedly came on to me.” Before long, Weinstein “pleasured himself in front of me. He did all of those things and I was then stuck in a room and … he tried to get into the room, he consistently came after me. I did manage to avoid an actual physical attack by him.” She said she felt safer talking about the Weinstein incident now that so many other women have come forward with allegations against him.

Read the full story at The Hollywood Reporter.

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