Russell Simmons speaks at a information convention in 2006.
Dima Gavrysh / AP
The New York Police Division has since beginning trying into the allegations, Sgt. Brendan Ryan confirmed Thursday. One of many alleged victims additionally informed BuzzFeed Information she had been contacted by police investigators.
“Russell Simmons totally helps and can cooperate with the police inquiry and is assured of a swift decision,” his lawyer Brad D. Rose informed BuzzFeed Information. Simmons additionally participated in a polygraph check and the outcomes shall be launched sooner or later, based on a supply.
Police in Los Angeles and Seattle, the place different alleged assaults and harassment occurred, informed BuzzFeed Information they haven’t any energetic investigation into the matter.
4 of the ladies spoke on the report with the New York Occasions, emboldened, they stated, by the ocean change in how victims' tales have been handled within the wake of allegations in opposition to disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and different high-profile males in leisure and different industries. Three of the 4 ladies who spoke to the Occasions stated Simmons raped them after exhibiting sexually violent and abusive habits.
Others stated they made the choice to return ahead after studying Simmons' denials of earlier allegations, together with these made by mannequin Keri Claussen Khalighi, who told the Los Angeles Times in November that Simmons assaulted her after he and movie director Brett Ratner took her again to the music mogul's house below the guise of displaying her a music video they have been engaged on. In a guest column for the Hollywood Reporter final month, screenwriter Jenny Lumet additionally accused Simmons of raping her in 1991.
Mike D of the Beastie Boys (proper) with Russell Simmons in London in 1987.
Taken collectively, the allegations date from the early 1980s, when Simmons was cementing his standing as an elder statesman of hip-hop by way of Def Jam information, to only a few years in the past.
Following the allegations by Lumet and Khalighi, Simmons, now 60, introduced that he was stepping down from his business empire, together with his yoga enterprise Tantric, in order to not function a distraction.
However on Wednesday after the experiences by the LA Occasions and New York Occasions have been printed, Simmons issued a way more strongly worded assertion denying the accusations.
“I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual,” he stated. “I’ve monumental respect for the ladies's motion worldwide and their wrestle for respect, dignity, equality and energy.”
Allegations of rape
Drew Dixon informed the New York Occasions she was working as an government at Def Jam Recordings in 1995 when Simmons began to be sexually abusive towards her. Dixon, who was 24 on the time, tried to stave off the harassment till later that yr, when she stated Simmons raped her in his Manhattan house.
She give up her place at Def Jam quickly after.
“I used to be damaged,” she informed the New York Occasions.
Toni Sallie was a 28-year-old music journalist for the commerce journal Black Radio Unique when she met Simmons whereas on task in 1987. After a couple of dates, their relationship didn't work out, she stated, however they remained in contact and one evening the next yr, Simmons invited her to a celebration at his house.
When she arrived, nonetheless, she found they have been alone. She informed the Occasions that whereas giving her a tour of the house, Simmons threw her on a mattress and raped her.
Tina Baker, a singer on the time, was additionally allegedly attacked after agreeing to return to Simmons' house within the early 1990s. As soon as inside, she informed the Occasions, he pinned her down and raped her.
“I did nothing,” she stated. “I shut my eyes and waited for it to finish.”
Sherri Hines, a member of hip-hop group Mercedes Women who glided by the stage title Sheri Sher when she encountered Simmons in 1983, informed the LA Occasions that the music mogul raped her in his workplace after operating into her at nightclub when she was simply 17 or 18 years outdated.
After sitting down on a sofa, she stated, he pinned her down and raped her regardless of her makes an attempt to battle him off.
“I left crying,” she informed the paper.
Entertainer Will Smith palms Russell Simmons' head in the course of the Supply Awards in Hollywood in 1999.
Kevork Djansezian / Related Press
Allegations of sexual harassment and different misconduct
Different ladies who spoke out relayed tales of alleged misconduct by Simmons, starting from an assault inside a nightclub lavatory to utilizing his place at Tantric yoga studios to strain instructors and members into sexually inappropriate conditions.
The ladies additionally spoke about having to take care of sexually vulgar and suggestive language, or be on fixed look ahead to the subsequent aggressive transfer.
In a single alleged case, Erin Beattie, a therapeutic massage therapist, was 24 when she was booked for an in-room therapeutic massage on the Alexis Lodge in 2005 with Simmons. She informed the LA Occasions that midway by way of the session, Simmons eliminated his sheet and uncovered his penis.
“He was like, ‘Do you need to work this out?’” she recalled. Beattie informed the paper that she stayed within the room solely after Simmons agreed to no sexual contact.
Publicist Kelly Cutrone, who has had visitor spots on actuality TV, additionally told Page Six that Simmons tried to rape her in 1991.
“He pushed me into his house after which he threw me down on the ground and actually tried to seize…take my garments off of me,” Cutrone stated. “And I began kicking him actually, actually onerous, screaming, telling him to get the fuck off of me.
Worry of reprisal
In every of the instances reported Wednesday, the ladies confided in individuals of their interior circle on the time concerning the alleged assaults, together with buddies and a therapist, who then corroborated what they’d been informed to each information organizations.
Russell Simmons on the 2012 Inexperienced Competition in New York Metropolis.
Mediapunch Inc. / MediaPunch Inc./MediaPunch/IPx
Again and again, the ladies stated they’d waited so a few years to return ahead out of concern of retaliation, notably given Simmons' place atop an enormous empire of manufacturing, trend, and life-style enterprise ventures.
“I didn’t need to reduce off my one conduit to having any hope of a profession,” Dixon, the previous Def Jam music exec, informed the New York Occasions.
Hines even based mostly an encounter in her novel Mercedes Women on the alleged rape, however was too scared to determine Simmons by title, as a substitute referring to him as a robust businessman named “Ron.”
BuzzFeed Information reached out to a number of ladies named in each experiences, together with Beattie, Sallie, and Dixon, in addition to to the native authorities the place the alleged assaults occurred.
The music mogul has denied the entire allegations of misconduct in opposition to him thus far. In some instances, he has acknowledged some type of relationship with the ladies, however insisted that at no time did he have interaction in nonconsensual sexual conduct.
Right here is his full assertion launched on Wednesday:
I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual.
I’m blessed to have shared extraordinary relationships, whether or not by way of work or love, with many nice ladies; and I’ve monumental respect for the ladies’s motion worldwide and their wrestle for respect, dignity, equality and energy. I’m devastated by any motive I’ll have given to anybody to say or consider me within the methods which might be at the moment being described. In current weeks, some former enterprise, inventive and romantic companions have aired grievances as claims I categorically reject. In a few of these situations, monetary motives and direct contradictory witness testimony has been equipped to the media, which has been utterly unnoticed of tales. In the previous few days, one girl tried to extort me for $500,000 solely to recant her ridiculous declare. The present allegations despatched to me by the New York Occasions and Los Angeles Occasions vary from the patently unfaithful to the frivolous and hurtful. The presumption of harmless till confirmed responsible should not get replaced by “Responsible by Accusation.”
I’ve already apologized for the situations of thoughtlessness in my consensual relations. I’ve separated myself from my companies and charities with a view to not change into a distraction. I’ve re-dedicated myself to religious studying, therapeutic and dealing on behalf of the communities to which I’ve devoted my life. I’ve accepted that I can and may get filth on my sleeves if it means witnessing the delivery of a brand new consciousness about ladies. What I can’t settle for is duty for what I’ve not achieved. I’ve performed my life with a message of peace and love. Though I’ve been candid about how I’ve lived in books and interviews detailing my flaws, I’ll relentlessly battle in opposition to any untruthful character assassination that paints me as a person of violence.