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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Russell Simmons in Big Trouble After More Than 10 of His Accusers Say #MeToo

Russell Simmons

Nationwide — Russell Simmons, known as the grandfather of Hip-Hop and the founder of Def Jam Records, is the latest male celebrity under fire as more than 10 women now have accused him of sexual conduct in various incidents between 1988 to 2014.

The allegations against the 60-year old mogul were first reported by The New York Times, but The Los Angeles Times has also followed up with more accounts from several different women.

His accusers include Drew Dixon, a former executive at Def Jam Records; Christina Moore, a woman who says she met him at a hotel in Miami; and Keri Claussen Khalighi, who is a model.

Simmons has since released a statement and apology to the media denying the accusations, saying:

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.

Meanwhile, he has reportedly stepped away from all of his businesses, even removing his name from his ventures including HBO’s Def Comedy Jam.

He told reporters: “I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.”

According to some reports, the NYPD has already began their investigation against him.