Russell Simmons Claims He’s Innocent of All Rape Charges
Following allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and rape—11 women have come forward—Russell Simmons has now released a statement claiming his innocence and revealing his plan to "properly defend" himself.
Simmons, who deleted his Twitter account Thursday (Dec. 14), uploaded a statement on Instagram on to explain his next step forward. In his lengthy post, the Def Jam co-founder wrote, "Today, I begin to properly defend myself."
He added: "I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges. Today, I will focus on 'The Original Sin' (Keri Claussen), the claim that created this insane pile on of my #MeToo. Stay tuned! We’ll share information today… And tomorrow the case of Jenny Lumet. My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in anyway, but instead hold my accusers accountable. #NotMe Again, this is not a movement against or even in conjunction with #Metoo . It’s just a statement about my innocence."
The allegations against Simmons first popped up in November when former model Keri Khalighi named Simmons and film producer Brett Ratner in a sexual assault that she says occurred in 1991.
Simmons denied the allegations, saying, "Everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation." He added, "Let me be crystal clear and very direct. Abusing women in any way, shape or form violates the very core of my being."
Most recently, on Wednesday (Dec. 13), The New York Times reported that three women came forward to accuse Simmons of raping them. The women claim the incidents occurred at some point during the last 30 years.
Check out Simmons' Instagram post below.
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