X

By clicking “Accept All Cookies,” you agree to the storing of first- and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts

Nine More Women Accuse Russell Simmons of Rape or Sexual Misconduct

Nine more women have come forward to accuse Russell Simmons of sexual harassment or assault. The New York Times spoke to four women who accuse the music mogul of sexual misconduct between 1988 and 2014. Three of those women claim that Simmons raped them. The women accusing Simmons of rape include Drew Dixon, a former A&R executive who worked under Simmons at Def Jam Records in the mid-’90s; Tina Baker, a former pop singer whom Simmons managed in the early ’90s; and Toni Sallie, a journalist for the trade magazine Black Radio Exclusive who met Simmons while on assignment in 1987. The fourth accuser, Christina Moore, said that she met Simmons in Miami at Art Basel in 2014. She claims that Simmons led her and a friend to his Soho Beach House room under false pretenses and fled after he pushed her against a wall and groped her.

Shortly after the Times published its story on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times released a report in which five more women detailed alleged sexual misconduct by Simmons. The women who spoke to the Los Angeles Times include actress Natashia Williams-Blach, who alleges that Simmons tried to force her to perform oral sex on him after he took her to a yoga class in 1996; Erin Beattie, a massage therapist who alleges Simmons exposed himself to her at a Seattle hotel in 2005; Sherri Hines, a rapper who alleges that Simmons raped her in his office in 1983; Lisa Kirk, who alleges that Simmons tried to force himself on her after following her into a nightclub bathroom around 1988; and comedian and Insecure star Amanda Seales, who claims Simmons made lewd comments to her during what was ostensibly a business meeting at All Def Digital in 2016.

Karen Russell, the former manager of Simmons’s Los Angeles yoga studio Tantris, told the paper that the 60-year-old mogul made frequent inappropriate advances towards women at the space. Russell said she complained to her boss about Simmons’s behavior, but was shut down. From the Los Angeles Times:

“You have to understand, we go back to the Def Jam days. This is Russell, he loves young models,” she recalled her bosses telling her. They told her they’ve “always been able to handle it and clean up his mess.”

Not long after the studio opened, Simmons briefly began offering free classes for fashion models, Russell said. Simmons was always present for those sessions, in the middle of the room, she said.

Russell said she resigned her position in February after about nine months because Simmons was too demanding. He was calling her at all hours — as early as 6 a.m. and as late as midnight — screaming and yelling about why the studio wasn’t doing as well as he’d expected, Russell said.

The new allegations follow sexual assault claims from model Keri Clausen Khalighi and screenwriter  Jenny Lumet, which were made public last month.

In response to the rape and misconduct allegations detailed in the New York Time report, Simmons issued the following statement:

“I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual.”

He added: “I have enormous respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power.”

Brad D. Rose, Simmons’s attorney, denied the claims made in the Los Angeles Times on behalf of his client. In Beattie’s case, Rose said that Simmons liked joking with her about “racial and sexual things” and was only kidding when he asked her for “a happy ending.”

“Mr. Simmons regrets any offense that Ms. Beattie took to that remark either back then or now,” Rose said.

“It was not a joke,” Beattie told the Los Angeles Times.

UPDATE: Simmons responded to the allegations made in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times reports with a series of Instagram posts he shared on Thursday morning. One is a play on the #MeToo movie with a statement that simple reads “#NotMe”. The caption reads as follows:

Today, I begin to properly defend myself. I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges. Today, I will focus on “The Original Sin” (Keri Claussen), the claim that created this insane pile on of my #MeToo. Stay tuned! We’ll share evidence today… And tomorrow the case of Jenny Lumet. My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in anyway, but instead hold the accusers accountable. #NotMe

Swipe left for full statement.

A post shared by Russell Simmons (@unclerush) on

Downloading blessings! Let’s go (@diddy voice ) ❤️

A post shared by Russell Simmons (@unclerush) on

Today, I begin to properly defend myself. I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges. Today, I will focus on “The Original Sin” (Keri Claussen), the claim that created this insane pile on of my #MeToo. Stay tuned! We’ll share evidence today… And tomorrow the case of Jenny Lumet. My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in anyway, but instead hold the accusers accountable. #NotMe

A post shared by Russell Simmons (@unclerush) on

Jump to comments