Earlier this month, Brett Ratner was added to the rapidly growing list of powerful men in Hollywood who have used their positions to prey on women, when the Los Angeles Times published the accounts of six separate women who all claimed to have been sexually harassed or assaulted by the Rush Hour director. One of those women was Species actress Natasha Henstridge, who accused Ratner of physically forcing himself on her at a private residence in New York.
On Wednesday morning Henstridge spoke with Megyn Kelly on Today about what she endured, and the ordeal clearly still terrifies and haunts her to this day. Henstridge says she was only 19 at the time of the alleged assault, when she was making the transition from model to actress. She only casually knew Ratner at the time, and recalls hanging out with a group of people at an apartment that she assumes had been his, when she dozed off watching a movie. “When I woke up I was alone there with him,” Henstridge explained. “I tried to leave, and one thing led to another and he was not going to allow me to leave.”
When detailing her assault, Henstridge became emotional. “It was just a horrible situation,” she said. “You know a lot of people had asked how that can happen, how somebody can force you into oral sex. When you’re afraid of somebody, when you physically do not know what somebody is capable of…” She paused, tearing up, then continued. “When you’re afraid of them, you don’t know what they’re capable of doing and you submit, and I submitted. I did submit.”
Henstridge later recounted that she was also one of the “lucky” ones to have been targeted by Weinstein, echoing the stories of so many other women who say the director invited them to a meeting that quickly turned into something nefarious. “The whole reason I came out about Brett, is because I had the situation with Harvey and everybody was telling me, and people knew the story as well who were imploring me to come out about it,” she explained.
“I realized when I started becoming more confident with the idea of coming forward and joining these other women and supporting these other women who have dealt with this as well,” she continued. “I realized how can I come forward about Harvey, because it’s safer and so many women have, and not come forward about somebody who’s not been identified yet who’s probably still doing this today.”