Russell Simmons ‘Vehemently’ Denies Rape And Sexual Misconduct Allegations In New Statement

Russell Simmons is “vehemently” denying claims of sexual misconduct.

The 60-year-old music mogul defended himself on Wednesday against a new New York Times piece, which includes allegations that he raped three women.

“I have never had a sexual encounter that was not consensual or lawful. Ever,” an all-caps post on Instagram read.

This full statement followed:

“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 int he 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 $5000,000 only to recant her claim. The current allegations sent to me by the New York Times range from 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 to 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.”

Swipe left for full statement.

A post shared by Russell Simmons (@unclerush) on

According to the New York Times, four women went on the record to disclose incidents that occurred between 1988 to 2014, showing a pattern of Simmons’ alleged violent sexual behaviour. Three of the women claim he raped them.

These are just the latest accusations in a drama-ridden past few weeks for the father of three. Model Keri Claussen Khalighi accused Simmons of committing sexual assault in 1991 while director Brett Ratner — who is also in the midst of a sexual misconduct scandal — allegedly watched, according to a Los Angeles Times article posted on Nov. 19. Simmons strongly disputed her account, saying in a statement, “Everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation.”

Less than two weeks later, Simmons stepped down from Def Jam Recordings and the Los Angeles yoga studio he founded following a separate allegation by writer Jenny Lumet (“Rachel Getting Married”, “The Mummy”). After those allegations, HBO also revealed that Simmons would be cut from the upcoming “All Def Comedy” stand-up series, set to air this month.

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