Russell Simmons Accused of Rape by Three Women
In an explosive new report from The New York Times, former Def Jam exec Drew Dixon, music journalist Toni Sallie and singer Tina Baker accuse the music mogul of raping them at some point during the last 30 years. All were afraid of the repercussions of reporting Simmons' alleged actions at the time because of potentially adverse ramifications they'd face in their career.
Dixon, who worked alongside Simmons at Def Jam in the 1990s, tells the publication that Simmons raped her in his downtown Manhattan apartment in 1995. After the attack, she contemplated leaving the music industry, but her role in the soundtrack for The Show eventually helped propel her to more success in the business. After reportedly facing sexual harassment from L.A. Reid at another label, Dixon left the industry all together in 2002, opting to pursue a degree at Harvard Business School.
In the same story, music journalist Sallie reported that she had met Simmons while on assignment in 1987. She says they went on a few dates in 1988, but ultimately, she decided they weren't an ideal pair. The two remained amiable until one day Simmons invited her to his apartment, where she says he forced himself on her. “He pushed me on the bed and jumped on top of me, and physically attacked me,” she tells The Times. “We were fighting. I said no.” Sallie says she was afraid of how things would turn out if she reported Simmons to the police.
Baker, who released a few pop songs back in the 1980s, reported that she met Simmons in a club back in either late 1990 or early 1991. She says he told her to come to his apartment in order to discuss her career. She alleges that, once there, he began pouring drinks and trying to kiss her. She resisted and a scuffle ensued. From there, she says Simmons proceeded to pin her onto his bed and rape her. “I did nothing, I shut my eyes and waited for it to end," she tells the pub.
A fourth woman, this one by the name of Christina Moore, accused Simmons of assaulting her after inviting her to a room when her friend met him in Miami at Art Basel in 2014. She says he told her that she was being a bad girl and that he wanted to tie her up. Moore and her friend eventually ran away.
“I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual," he told the publication on Wendesday. “I have enormous respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power.”
In another part of his statement, Simmons says that, while he's focused on becoming a better person, he won't take responsibility for claims he doesn't believe he's committed.
“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,” Simmons affirmed. “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.”
These women's accounts of Simmons' assault follow initial accusations that began last month. On Nov. 19, model Keri Khalighi became the first woman to publicly accuse Simmons of sexual misconduct.
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