In an emotional interview with ABC‘s George Stephanopoulos for Good Morning America on Wednesday, Brett Ratner‘s rape accuser has decided to speak out.
As we previously reported, Melanie Kohler alleged the director had raped her in a Facebook post last month, which she almost immediately took down after getting a phone call from Brett’s lawyer, Marty Singer.
The former assistant recalled being “shocked” over the threat of a defamation lawsuit — which Brett has since gone forward with:
“I posted on Facebook and was just starting to feel healing about it all, and about an hour and a half after I posted, my cell phone rang… I was scared and shocked.”
Melanie also added how her best friend at the time recalled her recounting the alleged sexual assault, and why she never went public at the time about it:
“It’s so embarrassing. It’s so humiliating. It’s not something that you ever want to relive again and it just felt like there was nothing that I could do. I didn’t think the police could help me. I didn’t know if anyone would be willing to go up against someone so powerful and it just was easier for me to not relive it.”
Now, she says she “can’t get through the day without being reminded of it.”
The Hawaii resident hopes her going public with her story will help women feel more comfortable speaking out about someone “more powerful than you, has more money than you and when everything feels stacked against you.”
“If I have to risk my life and what I’ve worked so hard for in my life in Hawaii to be the voice that helps other women come forward, then I am prepared to do that.”
Her lawyer, Robbie Kaplan, also added she believes the defamation lawsuit against Melanie is just a ploy to silence women:
“We’re here to send a very strong message that it’s not going to stop Melanie from speaking and it’s not going to stop other women from speaking.”
And they intend to call on “at least three dozen witnesses” if it goes to court.
In response, the Rush Hour 2 director’s lawyer released a statement:
“Brett Ratner vehemently denies the outrageous derogatory allegations that have been reported about him, and 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.”
And reacting to Robbie’s staement, Singer added:
“It is nonsense that the defamation lawsuit filed against Ms. Kohler is a tactic of ‘trying to silence women.’ No such thing is occurring.”
You can watch Melanie’s interview (below):
[Image via ABC.]