TMZ: Two Russell Simmons Rape Accusers Have Filed Police Reports
Two women who accuse Russell Simmons of rape have filed reports with the NYPD, TMZ reports. Since November, at least 12 women have accused the entertainment mogul of sexual harassment, assault, or rape. Those who filed reports reportedly include Sherri Hines, a former member of hip hop group Mercedes Ladies, who accuses Simmons of raping her at his office in 1983, and a second, anonymous woman, who accuses Simmons of raping her at his residence in 1991. The anonymous woman’s allegation apparently has not yet been reported publicly. Last month, Hines told the New York Times that she was contacted by NYPD, which had reportedly opened an investigation into Simmons.
In late November, Simmons announced he would step aside from his companies following sexual assault accusations by former model Keri Claussen Khalighi and screenwriter Jenny Lumet. Shortly thereafter, an additional nine women (including Hines) accused Simmons of misconduct, harassment, assault, or rape in separate reports by the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. Since then, prominent publicist Kelly Cutrone has also accused Simmons of attempted rape. If the anonymous woman reported by TMZ indeed represents a new, as-yet-unreported allegation, her account would bring the total number of Simmons accusers to 13.
Simmons has denied allegations. “I vehemently deny all these allegations. … I have already apologized for the instances of thoughtlessness in my consensual relations. I have separated myself from my businesses and charities in order to not become a distraction,” he said in a statement responding to the New York Times report in December. Last month, Simmons also launched an Instagram hashtag, #NotMe, writing, “I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges.”
Further Instagram updates were scarce, and this morning, Simmons’ representatives told Page Six that he was suspending the #NotMe campaign, having decided “that this is a time for women to speak.” As of this writing, Simmons’ original #NotMe post is still live.