Russell Simmons has responded to new accusations of sexual assault by model Keri Claussen Khalighi.
Over the past two months, a number of high profile men in media and government across the U.S. have been taken down women who claimed that they either sexually assaulted them or acted inappropriately. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has become the face of despicable men who are being taken down by women. Now Def Jam Recordings founder Russell Simmons is being drawn into the eerie atmosphere of men taking advantage of women without their consent.
Keri Claussen Khalighi told the Los Angeles Times that the music mogul made “aggressive sexual advances” towards her when she was 17 years old. She alleges that the incident took place in 1991 at his apartment. She told the Times that they had dinner in New York that evening before heading back to his place. She claimed that he made unwanted sexual advances towards her and coerced her into performing oral sex and penetrated her in the shower.
“I fought it wildly,” she said. “I guess I just acquiesced.” Ratner “just sat there and watched,” Khalighi said.
Russell Simmons responded with a strongly worded statement vehemently denying the allegations. “Let me be crystal clear and very direct. Abusing women in any way shape or form violates the very core of my being,” he said. “Everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation.”
“Wake up to struggle,” Simmons wrote on Instagram. “The yogi learns to smile and breathe in every pose. The long weekend in question 26 years ago had many witnesses, the L.A. Times never used some of the their signed written statements that she spent the night, had lunch with, and went to clubs with multiple witnesses and even stayed in my apartment when I wasn’t there, all after alleged incident. I provided 3 witness statements, maybe they could have been used in the article?”