Brett Ratner Opposes Relativity Restructuring, Saying He Was Pushed Out of MTV's 'Catfish'

The director/producer says his fraud claims are worth $650,000, plus a 10 percent profit stake in the reality series.
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Brett Ratner

On Thursday, a parade of objectors came forward in response to Ryan Kavanaugh's plan to reorganize Relativity and take the studio out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The fate of the plan — which will be voted on by creditors and weighed by a judge on Feb. 1 — may turn on Kavanaugh's ability to find exit financing. Nevertheless, U.S. bankruptcy judge Michael Wiles will also have to address objections made by the likes of Netflix, Paramount, Discovery, Colbeck Capital, Cit Bank and others.

Also among the list of objectors is Brett Ratner, who is now detailing his own gripe with Relativity.

The director of such films as Rush Hour, X-Men: The Last Stand and the upcoming Beverly Hills Cop 4 was an executive producer of the 2010 documentary Catfish, which was later adapted into a hit MTV reality series about those lured through social media by false identities. 

Ratner hasn't participated in the show despite what he contends was an absolute right to do so.

According to his opposition papers filed Thursday, "Relativity breached its obligations under the Agreements by failing to negotiate in good faith with Ratner and then creating the television series titled Catfish. Relativity also worked surreptitiously to push Ratner out of the Series. Accordingly, Ratner holds claims against Relativity including, but not limited to, breach of contract, fraud, fraud in the inducement, unjust enrichment and unfair business practices and has suffered damages in an amount to be proven at trial."

Relativity doesn't believe it owes Ratner anything, setting a proposed cure amount at $0.00.

Ratner believes the proper amount to settle his claims is $650,000, plus 10 percent gross participation in any exploitation of existing Catfish episodes.

In October, Relativity's television business was sold to an investment group for $125 million. Among the assets transferred in the deal were rights to the Catfish series.

At the time, Ratner objected, but the judge allowed Catfish to be sold free and clear of all liens. The judge did rule then the order would not impair his potential claims against the buyer nor prejudice his right to assert objections if Relativity sought to sell other assets. 

The director/producer is now making a thumbs-down to the reorganization plan on the basis that he should be paid for the Catfish show. His attorneys tell the court that the $650,000 figure and gross participation demand derive from what each of the other producers on MTV's Catfish have gotten for 65 episodes to date.

Relativity had no comment.