Transcript for Brett Ratner fights back against the woman who accused him of sexual assault
cover story. New accusations in the Hollywood harassment scandal targeting Dustin Hoffman and filmmaker Brett Ratner who is now filing a libel lawsuit. ABC's linsey Davis has those details. Good morning. Hello again. After more than half a dozen allegations of sexual harassment Brett Ratner is heading to court but not as a defendant. He is suing one of his accusers after she called him a rapist on social media. His attorney claims his client suffered injuries to his reputation as a result and now they're suing for damages. This morning, Hollywood heavyweight Brett Ratner is on the offense suing one of several women who have come forward accusing him of sexual harassment or abuse. The filmmaker known for blockbuster movies like "Rush hour" and "X-men: The last stand" is pushing back. Six women accused him of inappropriate behavior including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha henstridge. Ratner is now filing a defamation suit against Melanie Kohler who wrote a Facebook post calling him a rapist. Kohlerer's post has since been taken down but said he was a rapist on at least one night in Hollywood about 12 years ago and he preyed on me as a drunk girl and forced himself upon me. Ratner disputes that account. And now a spokesperson for kohlerer is firing back saying we always knew that they would pick one woman to victimize further in an effort to bully other women into silence. So our message to Mr. Ratner and his lawyer is short and simple. See you in court. And now a second woman has come forward accusing two-time Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman of sexual harassment on the heels of Hoffman's apology for anything I might have done to cause a former production assistant to accuse him of sexual harassment when she was 17 years old working on the set of "Death of a salesman" in 1985. I don't know why I can't stop myself. Reporter: The second accuser, writer and producer, Wendy Riss says Hoffman made unwanted sexual advances during a private pitch meeting. We did reach out to Hoffman for comment but did not get a reply. He did issue a statement to the "Hollywood reporter" after the first allegation saying I have the utmost respect for women and fear terrible anything I might have done could have hut her in an uncomfortable position. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am. Thank you very much. Our legal team Dan Abrams and sunny Hostin are here. I like to say you're our dream team. Thank you. Okay, now other women have accused Ratner, but he singles out this particular accuser. Yeah. Well, this is right out of the defense playbook. The best defense is a good offense so let's find the woman that's the least famous, let's find the woman that's the most vulnerable. Let's find the woman that perhaps can't afford a great attorney and let's sue that woman and that's what victims of sexual assault and abuse are most concerned about. They fear retaliation and they fear intimidation and I think this is just one intimidation tactic that's not going to work given the current climate. When you say that we just have this new ABC news/"washington post" poll and four out of ten in that poll say they didn't report harassment in part because they fear retaliation. You know something really interesting. As a legal matter which is the statute of limitations is likely expired for her to do anything but he can now sue her. Yeah. So meaning she can't take any legal action against him, but he can take legal action against her. I think that makes her claim more significant and makes her more credible. She's not suing for money or going to the police and saying he raped me. He is saying this is what happened to me too. This is going to be really hard. If you actually take this lawsuit seriously, right. What he's going to have to do is he's going to have to show it was false. It was defamatory and that she knew or should have known that it wasn't true. So basically that she knew that she was making it up. What kind of case does the accuser have to build? Well, the best defense to a claim of -- Dan's completely right. The best defense to a claim of libel defamation is the truth and so she has to show that she is telling the truth. Now, given this current climate when more than six women have come out and said he did it to me too, I mean I don't think that that's a very difficult case to prove. He has the burden to prove it. Meaning he's the mraf here so she doesn't have the burden to prove anything. All she's going to have to do is respond to the lawsuit and here's the danger for him, of course. Is that in the context of the lawsuit, part of her defense is well this is a pattern and practice on his part. So I'd like to call in all of the other women. The one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. The list goes on. That's significant. That's why you've got to believe he doesn't want this case to go to trial. Meaning with all these other women out there, you know, it feels like a kind of statement by him more than an actual lawsuit, we'll see. I could be wrong. It's a very stale play. We'll see you on "The view."
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