In disturbing news, there are more women coming forward and accusing Russell Simmons of rape.
Hip Hop mogul Russell Simmons has been accused of raping three women, per a New York Times report. In wake of the report, an article by the Los Angeles Times has unearthed five additional women who have accused Simmons of sexual misconduct.
These new allegations come just a month after screenwriter Jenny Lumet accused Simmons of victimizing her and Keri Claussen Khalighi claimed she was sexually assaulted by the Deff Jam co-founder in 1991.
Among the latest accusers in the New York Times’ report are two music execs and one artist who worked with Simmons at points during their careers. All three maintain a common thread of feeling powerless due to Simmons’ influence in the entertainment industry.
Former Def Jam employee, Drew Dixon, claims she was a frequent target of harassment by Simmons’ in the work place. Allegedly, he told her how she turned him on, tried to get her to sit on his lap and exposed his genitals to her on a numerous occasions. She even gave her office key to a co-worker, instructing them to barge in if Simmons were to close her door.
“I was like: ‘If I ever buzz you, don’t pick up, don’t call me back — just open my door,” Dixon stated. “That means Russell is in here and he whipped his [penis out].”
Simmons’ attorney Brad D. Rose has stated that his client has admitted to engaging in “inappropriate conduct” with Dixon while she was employed at Def Jam. Dixon said she tolerated the behavior because she didn’t want to risk jeopardizing her chance at a career in the music industry.
“I didn’t want to cut off my one conduit to having any hope of a career,” Dixon advised the New York Times. “I thought if I could survive long enough to have a hit — a real bona fide hit with my name on it — I would move categories.”
After Dixon garnered some success in her career, she claims Simmons raped her in his downtown apartment in 1995.
“The last thing I remember was him pinning me down to kiss me on the bed,” she stated, saying that her last recollection of the night was being naked, next to Simmons, in a bathtub.
Dixon also told the New York Times she went into a state of depression and eventually left the Def Jam due to the actions of Simmons. Russell’s’ attorney has responded to the claims, stating that his client “emphatically states that he did not have sex with her.”
After later finding employment at Arista Records — where she claims to have faced additional sexual harassment from executive L.A. Reid — Dixon threatened to sue Simmons for sexual harassment and funds she was still owed from Def Jam. The parties settled out of court in 1997.
“I was like, ‘I do not want to be famous for being sexually harassed by Russell Simmons,’” said Dixon. “I want to make records and be famous for that.”
Tina Baker, a singer who was managed by Simmons and performed under the stage name Tina B, has also come forward to accuse him of rape. Baker insists, in the early 1990s, Simmons invited her to his apartment to discus her career. The scene got “ugly pretty fast”, per Baker, as he attempted to kiss her, leading to a scuffle.
“I remember him on top of me, pushing me down and him saying, ‘Don’t fight me,’” Baker stated. “I did nothing, I shut my eyes and waited for it to end.”
As Simmons was still managing her, she returned to his apartment for a different meeting. There, he allegedly exposed himself and made advances toward Baker, which prompted her to exit the apartment in a haste. She eventually managed got out of her contract with Simmons but her career flailed afterward.
“I didn’t sing for almost a year,” said Baker. “I went into oblivion.”
Simmons claims he “did everything he could to professionally promote her career.” His attorney said his client had “no recollection of ever having any sexual relations with Ms. Baker.”
Another accuser, Toni Sallie met Simmons in 1987 while working for Black Radio Exclusive as a music journalist. The pair went on a couple of dates in 1988 but decided not to pursue a romantic relationship. The two remained amicable afterward, which led to Simmons inviting Sallie to his downtown apartment for an apparent party for his girlfriend in the fall 1988. When Sallie arrived for the party, there was no one there and Simmons led her to his bedroom.
“He pushed me on the bed and jumped on top of me, and physically attacked me,” said Sallie. “We were fighting. I said no.”
Fearful of career consequences, Sallie did not report the incident to authorities.
“If I went to the police, I didn’t know how that would turn out,” she stated. “You have to understand, I was very much in a man’s game. Black women were just starting to break into the field.”
Simmons’ attorney acknowledged that Sallie and his client went on dates but claims there was never non-consensual sex.
While employed at Warner Bros. Records, Sallie again encountered Simmons approximately a year later as she attended a conference in South Florida. She alleges that he attempted to lead her to a dark beach. When she resisted, he became forceful. Simmons allegedly grabbed her by the hair and chased her into a bathroom before she was able to escape to her own room.
Simmons’ lawyer denied this, saying, “At no time did Mr. Simmons conduct himself inappropriately.”
After the accusations about Simmons sexually assaulting Khalighi surfaced in November, Sallie finally contacted the Manhattan district attorney’s office to officially file claim. Law enforcement officials have stated that the statute of limitations has passed, but Sallie and an anonymous accuser were led to the NYPD Special Victims Unit to have allegations against Simmons on record.
In light of these latest revelations, Simmons come forward with a statement to deny all allegations:
“I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual.
“I am blessed to have shared extraordinary relationships, whether through work or love, with many great women; and I have enormous respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power. I am devastated by any reason I may have given to anyone to say or think of me in the ways that are currently being described. In recent weeks, some former business, creative and romantic partners have aired grievances as claims I categorically reject. In some of these instances, financial motives and direct contradictory witness testimony has been supplied to the media, which has been completely left out of stories. In the last few days, one woman attempted to extort me for $500,000 only to recant her ridiculous claim. The current allegations sent to me by The New York Times range from the patently untrue to the frivolous and hurtful. The presumption of innocent until proven guilty must not be replaced by “Guilty by Accusation.”
“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. I have re-dedicated myself to spiritual learning, healing and working on behalf of the communities to which I have devoted my life. I have accepted that I can and should get dirt on my sleeves if it means witnessing the birth of a new consciousness about women. What I will not accept is responsibility for what I have not done. I have conducted my life with a message of peace and love. 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.”