Entertainment

Russell Simmons accused of sexual misconduct again — once at Art Basel

Three women have told the New York Times that music mogul Russell Simmons raped them. Simmons, in a statement to the paper, vehemently denied what he called “these horrific accusations,” saying all his relations have been consensual.
Three women have told the New York Times that music mogul Russell Simmons raped them. Simmons, in a statement to the paper, vehemently denied what he called “these horrific accusations,” saying all his relations have been consensual. Invision/AP File

It seems like a powerful man is taken down by sexual harassment allegations almost every day. Literally.

Harvey Weinstein. Charlie Rose. Kevin Spacey. Matt Lauer. Louis C.K. Al Franken. Jeffrey Tambor. Brett Ratner. Jeremy Piven. James Toback. Ben Affleck (and Casey). Oliver Stone. Dustin Hoffman. Garrison Keiller. Tavis Smiley.

On Wednesday, music mogul Russell Simmons was featured in a lengthy expose in The New York Times, which interviewed four women who accused the hip hop mogul of rape and sexual assault.

In the Times article, journalist Toni Sallie recounted that in 1988, Simmons, whom she was casually dating at the time, raped her at his NYC apartment.

“He pushed me on the bed and jumped on top of me, and physically attacked me,” she said. “We were fighting. I said no.”

About a year later, at a South Florida music conference, she encountered Simmons in the lobby of a local hotel and he attempted to lead her to a “dark beach,” she told The Times. When she resisted, Sallie said he attacked her, grabbed her by the hair and tried to chase her into the women’s bathroom. Sallie said she escaped to her room and barricaded the door.

Another accuser, Christina Moore, says she experienced a disturbing incident that allegedly went down years later in 2014 — this time, at Art Basel Miami Beach. Simmons held his Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation fundraising event for a number of years at the annual art fair.

Moore said she first met Simmons in an elevator at the exclusive Soho Beach House in Miami Beach, where she was to meet up with some friends at a bar.

The divorced father of three told Moore and her friend he knew where the bar was. He then led them to his room, where Moore said he drew a bath and pushed her up against a wall, getting handsy with her.

“I felt assaulted,” she told The Times, adding that Simmons threatened to tie her up because she was a “bad girl.”

Moore and her friend managed to escape.

In his statement through his lawyer, Simmons said he did remember meeting Moore, but said the two women followed them to his room on their own accord.

“I felt a lot of shame and guilt at ending up in that situation,” she said.

“The current allegations sent to me by the New York 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,’ ” Simmons said in a statement.

Late last month, the Phat Farm clothing mogul, 60, announced he was stepping away from his empire. He later released a statement addressing charges leveled against him by Jenny Lumet, the screenwriter daughter of director Sidney Lumet (“Network,” “Dog Day Afternoon”).

Jenny Lumet wrote a column in The Hollywood Reporter, accusing Simmons of sexually violating her. Lumet’s story was in open letter format detailing what the Def Jam Records founder had allegedly done back in 1991. She writes that he took her home from an NYC club, had the driver lock the doors of the car and then forced her to go to his apartment where Simmons “penetrated” her against her will.

On Wednesday, TMZ reports Simmons passed a lie detector test over allegations lodged against him by model Keri Claussen Khalighi, who claimed he forced her into oral sex in 1991 while Brett Ratner looked on.

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