It never rains but pours these days for hip hop mogul Russell Simmons who continues to face more accusations regarding his predatory sexual behavior from women who have recently come out in the wake of the #MeToo campaign which has exposed the likes of Harvey Weinstein (recently accused by Salma Hayek), Kevin Spacey and several other high profile names in Hollywood and American Politics.
Just last week Simmons stepped down from his companies after a Jenny Lumet accused him of sexual assault in 1991. Since then, five more women have accused the former Def Jam mogul of misappropriate sexual conduct.
The women include actress Natashia Williams-Blach, Massage therapist Erin Beattie, rapper Sherri Hines, Lisa Kirk and Insecure actress Amanda Seales.
Below is Russell Simmons’ full statement following the accusations:
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 and Los Angeles 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.
Russell Wendell Simmons was born in October 1957 and raised in Queens, New York where he rose to become The chair and CEO of Rush Communications, he also co-founded the hip-hop music label Def Jam Recordings and created the clothing fashion lines Phat Farm, Argyleculture, and Tantris.