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Sexual assault lawsuit against Russell Simmons dismissed because of statute of limitations

By | Published on Wednesday 18 November 2020

Russell Simmons

A lawsuit filed by an unnamed woman accusing Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons of sexual assault has been dismissed because of the statute of limitations.

Various accusations of rape and sexual harassment were made against Simmons in 2018 in the wake of the #MeToo movement. A number of women came forward after model Keri Claussen Khalighi and screenwriter Jenny Lumet went public with their allegations in November 2017. Two lawsuits followed, although one was subsequently dismissed at the request of both parties a few months later.

In the second lawsuit, the unnamed accuser alleged that she met Simmons while at a concert with her son. She then claimed that, later the same day, Simmons pressured her to accompany him to his hotel room and that, once there, he raped her.

Simmons has denied all the allegations of sexual assault that have been made against him, including those made in this lawsuit. Meanwhile, he sought to have the lawsuit itself dismissed because of the statute of limitations.

The alleged assault took place in 1988. Under the relevant laws, the alleged victim would have needed to file her lawsuit by 1990. There are some legal technicalities that could have been employed to justify having gone legal later. However, the judge considering the case concluded that the latest a lawsuit could have been filed was 2014.

Having previously rejected Simmons’ bid to dismiss the case on statute of limitation grounds – because of other legal technicalities – this time the judge granted the industry veteran’s request.

The accuser didn’t actually formally oppose the motion this time, even though the judge offered extra time for her to respond. With no such response being made, the dismissal of the case was confirmed on Friday.