Brett Ratner, Dustin Hoffman the latest to be accused of sexual harassment, misconduct

Hollywood's widening sexual harassment crisis has ensnared prominent film director and producer Brett Ratner, accused by six women in a Los Angeles Times report, and actor Dustin Hoffman, who was accused of sexually harassing a 17-year-old intern in 1985.

Natasha Henstridge, Olivia Munn among actresses coming forward

Director and producer Brett Ratner, seen at an event in Beverly Hills, Calif., in April, has been accused of sexual harassment and misconduct by six women, according to the Los Angeles Times. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Film director Brett Ratner and actor Dustin Hoffman are the latest Hollywood figures to be the subject of sexual harassment allegations.

Six women, including actresses Natasha Henstridge and Olivia Munn, have accused Ratner of sexual harassment or misconduct, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

Playboy Enterprises quickly distanced itself from Ratner as his lawyer denied the allegations. 

Martin Singer issued a statement Wednesday in which he said the director "vehemently denies the outrageous derogatory allegations" and is "confident that his name will be cleared once the current media frenzy dies down and people can objectively evaluate the nature of these claims."

Natasha Henstridge told the Times that Ratner forced her to perform oral sex on him during an incident in the early 1990s. (Getty Images for Tyler Ellis)

In the Times article, Canadian actress Henstridge accuses the high-profile Hollywood director and producer of forcing her to perform oral sex on him at his New York apartment in the early 1990s when she was a 19-year-old model and had attended a gathering there with friends. 

Munn said that while visiting the set of Ratner's After the Sunset in 2004, he masturbated in front of her in his trailer. Munn had previously described the incident, without naming Ratner, in a 2010 collection of essays.

Olivia Munn previously wrote of a 2004 incident in which she alleges Ratner masturbated in front of her in his trailer on the set of the film After the Sunset. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The L.A. Times report also describes other encounters where Ratner aggressively pursued actresses, sometimes following them into a bathroom.

An extra on Rush Hour 2 named Eri Sasaki said Ratner suggested he would give her a line in the film if she slept with him.

Police weren't contacted about any of the incidents, nor did they result in financial settlements.

Ratner directed the Rush Hour film series, Red DragonX-Men: The Last Stand and Tower Heist. More recently, his production company RatPac Entertainment has a $450-million US film co-financing pact with Warner Bros. films, which includes this year's hit Wonder Woman, and rents office space on its lot.

"We are aware of the allegations in the LA Times and are reviewing the situation," a Warner Bros. spokesperson said.

But Playboy Enterprises, on Wednesday, shelved projects involving Ratner, including working on a biopic of Hugh Hefner, which was to star Jared Leto

"We are deeply troubled to learn about the accusations against Brett Ratner. We find this kind of behaviour completely unacceptable," the company wrote in a statement.

Ratner is one of the latest Hollywood figures to be accused of sexual harassment since the New York Times published an exposé last month about decades of harassment allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein. 

Dustin Hoffman apologizes

The allegation about Hoffman dates back 32 years and was levelled by a woman who says the Oscar-winner sexually harassed her in 1985 when she was a 17-year-old intern.

Writer Anna Graham Hunter alleges in a Wednesday column in the Hollywood Reporter that the 80-year-old actor groped her on the set of the TV movie Death of a Salesman.

"He was openly flirtatious, he grabbed my ass, he talked about sex to me and in front of me," Hunter wrote in her column.

Hoffman apologized in a statement to the magazine.

"I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am," he wrote.

In recent weeks, a number of allegations of sexual harassment and assault have been made against prominent Hollywood men including producer Harvey Weinstein, and actors Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Piven.