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TV personality Russell Simmons accused of rape by five women

TV producer and the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, Russell Simmons, has been accused of sexual misconduct by five more women.

tv Updated: Dec 14, 2017 14:00 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Russell Simmons,Sexual Harassment,Sexual Assault
Russell Simmons speaks appears at the RUSH Philanthropic Arts Foundation's Art for Life Benefit.(Scott Roth/Invision/AP)

TV producer and the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, Russell Simmons, has been accused of sexual misconduct by five more women. He had previously been accused of similar behaviour by three women.

Models and actors Natashia Williams-Blach, Erin Beattie, Sherri Hines, Lisa Kirk and Amanda Seales have accused Simmons of either exposing himself, assaulting or attempting to assault them or other lewd behaviour, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Producer Russell Simmons take part in an "I am Muslim Too" rally in Times Square Manhattan.

On November 23, Simmons had denied the allegations made by the women earlier. “These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual.”

Simmons had already stepped down from his companies, including Rush Communications, following allegations from writer Jenny Lumet, who claimed he sexually assaulted her in 1991.

Simmons and producer Brett Ratner were both investigated by the Beverly Hills Police Department for an alleged sexual battery in 2001.

The latest allegations mostly date from Simmons’ early career as a powerful music producer in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Toni Sallie, a music journalist, said Simmons raped her in 1988.

Def Jam Records mogul Russell Simmons speaks at the 2016 Art For Life Benefit. (Scott Roth/Invision/AP)

Sallie said she met Simmons in 1987 and the two briefly dated. The following year, she said Simmons invited her to a party at his apartment, “pushed me on the bed and jumped on top of me, and physically attacked me. We were fighting. I said no”.

She said he raped her. She also alleged that she met Simmons again about a year later at a hotel in Florida, and that he grabbed her hair and chased her into the bathroom. She told the Times she ultimately barricaded herself inside her hotel room.

Artist Tina Baker had toured with musicians Madonna and Bruce Springsteen as a backup singer in the 1980s. She, too, was invited to Simmons’ apartment in the early 1990s, where she says she was raped.

“It all got really ugly, pretty fast,” she said. She described being “pinned” to the bed. “I did nothing, I shut my eyes and waited for it to end.”

Baker contends that her career was brought to an end in short order and that her relationships with men suffered for years after the incident.

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First Published: Dec 14, 2017 13:59 IST