Russell Simmons Calls 2001 Sexual Battery Allegations Untrue
Prosecutors declined to press charges, citing, citing insufficient evidence.
Director Brett Ratner's criminal background has been unearthed in the wake of sexual harassment claims, with an accusations against Russell Simmons also coming to light.
Variety reports The Beverly Hills Police Department probed Ratner and Simmons in Nov. 2001 following accusations made by a 29-year-old model. Although the incident was never detailed, D.A. spokesman Ricardo Santiago told the outlet the misdemeanor sexual battery accusation included masturbation.
The alleged victim claimed the incident happened between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. at the 1200 block of Benedict Canyon Drive, which happened to be the same street as Ratner's home. She arrived at police department shortly before 4:45 a.m. It was decided in 2002 that Ratner and Simmons wouldn't face charges, citing insufficient evidence.
Ratner's criminal attorney, Harland Braun told the outlet that the men cooperated with police throughout the entire investigation and later claimed the woman had a "checkered history."
“It wasn’t rape or anything. It was sexual battery,” Braun said.“This is not her first rodeo… I don’t think there’s anything here. This is a girl that had such a checkered history.” Braun also reportedly paraphrased Ratner's and Simmons recollection of the incident. “We know her. She came to our house. Nothing happened. She’s making up a story.”
Simmons also gave a statement to the outlet, calling the allegations untrue. “This is an important and critical time for the empowerment of women and men who have been harassed," he said. "I have been a public figure for all of my adult life. And when you are in that arena over decades, you can find yourself in a position where you are vulnerable and susceptible to claims that are untrue.”
Ratner has been accused of sexual harassment and misconduct by six women including actress Olivia Munn. Melanie Kohler, a former employee of Endeavor Talent Agency, accused the director of rape on Facebook last week. She is now facing a defamation suit by Ratner and his legal team.
Earlier today, actress Ellen Page also accused the director of sexually harassing her during her time on the set of his film, X Men: The Last Stand. Page also claimed Ratner essentially outed her as a lesbian "who had not yet come out to myself."
“You should f**k her to make her realize she’s gay.” He said this about me during a cast and crew “meet and greet” before we began filming, X Men: The Last Stand," she said in a Facebook post. "I was eighteen years old. He looked at a woman standing next to me, ten years my senior, pointed to me and said: “You should f**k her to make her realize she’s gay.”