Statement of Russell Simmons in Response to LA Times Article. pic.twitter.com/iwT7Wy3SoY
— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) November 19, 2017
After being accused of sexually assaulting a model when she was 17-years-old, Russell Simmons has issued a statement.
Model Keri Claussen Khalighi recently revealed to the Los Angeles Times that Simmons sexually assaulted her when she was 17-years-old back in 1991, while film producer Brett Ratner watched and did nothing. Simmons and Ratner, who was an up-and-coming music video director and Simmons’ protege at the time, took Khalighi out to dinner before taking her back to Simmons’ apartment to show her a music video they were working on.
Khalighi then alleges that Simmons began making inappropriate advances toward her, aggressively yanking off her clothes.
“I looked over at Brett and said, ‘Help me,’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face,” Khalighi recounted to the Times. “In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.”
Khalighi accused Simmons of trying to force her to have intercourse with him but she fought him off. She also alleged that the music mogul walked up behind her while she was in the shower and briefly penetrated her without her consent.
“I completely and unequivocally deny the horrendous allegations of non-consensual sex against me with every fiber of my being,” Simmons’ statement read following the release of the Times story. “Let me be crystal clear and very direct. Abusing women in any way, shape or form violates the very core of my being.”
Khalighi said that she reached out to Simmons the day the Times story was released, and that did not deny any of her claims and instead apologized.
“They are publicly denying these allegations, which implies that the women who come forward are liars,” Khalighi said. “So I’m coming out because what I’ve experienced privately is not matching what they are saying publicly and hypocrisy to me is repugnant and it’s time for the truth to come out.”