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More women come forward with accusations of rape against Russell Simmons

By | Published on Thursday 14 December 2017

Russell Simmons

Both the New York Times and LA Times have published new stories detailing accusations of sexual harassment and rape against Def Jam founder Russell Simmons. This follows allegations made by model Keri Claussen Khalighi and screenwriter Jenny Lumet last month.

In its article, the New York Times speaks to three who accuse Simmons of rape, including former Def Jam exec Drew Dixon. She says that the music mogul forced himself on her following a period of “prolonged and aggressive sexual harassment” while she was working at the label in the mid-90s. Journalist Toni Sallie and singer Tina Baker also accuse him of rape.

Meanwhile, in the LA Times article, actress Natashia Williams-Blach, massage therapist Erin Beattie, and two former employees of Simmons’ yoga studio Tantris, accuse him of sexual misconduct, while rapper Sherri Hines alleges that he raped her.

As previously reported, the accusations against Simmons began with Keri Claussen Khalighi last month, who told the New York Times of an attack in the late 90s, apparently in the presence of film director Brett Ratner. Shortly afterwards, Jenny Lumet gave an account of being raped by Simmons to The Hollywood Reporter.

Simmons has denied all accusations against him, although he did step down from his various businesses in the wake of Lumet’s accusation. In statements to the New York Times and LA Times, Simmons denied all eight new accusations made against him.

“I vehemently deny all these allegations”, he told the NYT. “These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual … Although I have been candid about how I have lived in books and interviews detailing my flaws, I will relentlessly fight against any untruthful character assassination that paints me as a man of violence”.

To the LA Times, he said: “These new stories range from the patently untrue to frivolous and hurtful claims. I want to restate categorically what I have said previously: I have never been violent or abusive to any women in any way at any time in my entire life”.

HBO recently announced that Simmons was being dropped from the latest series of TV show ‘All Def Comedy’ and that his name will be removed from the show’s credits.