Build Presents Russell Simmons, Donte Clark And Jason Zeldes Discussing "Romeo Is Bleeding" Build Presents Russell Simmons, Donte Clark And Jason Zeldes Discussing "Romeo Is Bleeding"
Getty Images

More Women Step Forward With Rape Accusations Against Russell Simmons

Five women describe episodes of sexual misconduct with the Def Jam co-founder.

Russell Simmons has been accused of rape by four women in incidents spanning from 1983 to 1996 in New York Times and Los Angeles Times reports both published Wednesday (Dec. 13).

As well, another five women described episodes of sexual misconduct with the Def Jam co-founder as recently as 2016. Simmons issued statements to both newspapers denying the women's accounts.

"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," read Simmons' statement to the New York Times. "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."

READ: : HBO Removes Russell Simmons Name from 'All Def Comedy' After Sexual Assault Claims

The alleged attacks largely follow a similar pattern, where Simmons used his power and influence as one of music's top executives to assert his dominance over women to lure them into compromised situations where he would sexually assault them. Many of the alleged victims have now left the music industry -- either as artists or executives -- due largely to their negative experiences with Simmons, they said.

The latest accusations follow sexual assault claims against Simmons that came last month from former fashion model Keri Claussen Khalighi and screenwriter Jenny Lumet. The former label head-turned-wellness impresario denied those claims as well and responded to them -- as he did many of the new accounts -- saying he remembered the events differently. After those initial accusations surfaced, Simmons announced he was stepping away from his various businesses.

In the Los Angeles Times report, Sherri Hines of the all-female hip-hop group Mercedes Ladies says Simmons raped her in his office around 1983 when she was 17 or 18, after inviting her up one night when the two ran into each other at a club.

READ: : Russell Simmons Pens Response to Sexual Assault Allegations

Toni Sallie, a former music journalist for the trade magazine Black Radio Exclusive, told the New York Times she met Simmons while on assignment and the two dated casually in 1987. The next year, she said, Simmons invited her to his Manhattan apartment for a party he said he was hosting for his girlfriend. But when Sallie arrived, Simmons was the only one there. After a showing her around, she said, he brought her into his bedroom and raped her. About a year later, Sallie was working for Warner Bros. Records and she said she had to physically fight off Simmons advances one night at a hotel during a music conference in South Florida.

In late 1990 or early 1991, Tina Baker was a singer being managed by Simmons. One night after they ran into each other a club, she said he invited her back his apartment to discuss her career. Once she was there, she said, he raped her. Baker's professional career with Simmons continued after that and she recounted another episode where he exposed himself to her and moved towards her, but she escaped. Baker said she was unable to effectively extricate herself from her contract with Simmons and her musical career became stagnate as a consequence.

Former Def Jam A&R executive Drew Dixon told the New York Times that Simmons made relentless, aggressive sexual advances towards her when she joined the company in 1992. At work, he would close the door to her office and expose himself. But his favor was also key to her creating a successful career and she said she fended him off, while hoping she could lock in a hit record that would help establish her name. It came in 1995 when she executive produced a soundtrack for the music documentary The Show, featuring Tupac and A Tribe Called Quest, but while out celebrating the album's platinum success she said she let her guard down and entered Simmons' apartment. He pushed himself on her and she blacked out as he raped her, she said, even though she hadn't been drinking that night.

READ: : Russell Simmons Accuser Says She 'Froze,' Tried to 'Normalize' What Happened

Soon after, Dixon resigned from Def Jam and started at Arista Records. When L.A. Reid joined the label in 2000, she said he began sexualizing her as well and would turn cold when she denied his advances.

Between the New York Times and Los Angeles Times' reporting, five more women have alleged sexual misconduct from Simmons that ranges from attempting to force one to perform oral sex on him in 1996 to using vulgar language during a 2016 business meeting with actress Amanda Seales to ask if they had ever had sex.

"These new stories range from the patently untrue to frivolous and hurtful claims," Simmons told the Los Angeles Times. "I want to restate categorically what I have said previously: I have never been violent or abusive to any women in any way at any time in my entire life."

Many of the alleged victims said they felt moved to come forward with their stories after Simmons denied any misconduct with Khalighi and Lumet.

To each of the incidents above, Simmons denies any misconduct through his lawyer, Brad D. Rose, with statements rebuking every claim. Those can be read -- along with the alleged victims' full stories -- in the New York Times report here and the Los Angeles Times report here.

The article was originally published in Billboard

From the Web

More on Vibe

Win McNamee

Sybrina Fulton Is Running For Office In Florida

Since Trayvon Martin's murder in 2012, Sybrina Fulton has dedicated her life to preserving her son's legacy. Now, Fulton is taking it one step further as she's announced she's running for office in Florida.

“Since 2012, I have advocated tirelessly to empower our communities and make them safer,” Fulton said to The Miami Herald. “But the work is not done. I am proud to announce that I will run to represent District 1 on the county commission.”

"Our county must continue moving forward so our families are safe from violence, can afford to live in Miami-Dade, and have access to good paying jobs,” she continued. “I am ready to take on these issues and many others in county government.”

Fulton will run against Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez during the 2020 election, a seat which will be vacated by Commissioner Barbara Jordan in the same year.

Fulton, alongside Trayvon's father Tracy, found themselves the focus of media attention in 2012 when 17-year-old Trayvon was racially profiled, followed and shot by self-appointed neighborhood watchmen George Zimmerman.

Unarmed Trayvon was staying with his father in central Florida when on the night of Feb 26, he went to a local convenience store and crossed paths with Zimmerman.

Zimmerman was taken into custody by police that night but later released. It would months later in April when Zimmerman was formally arrested and charged. On July 13, 2013,  Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges.

Continue Reading

Rich The Kid Introduces His New Group, 83 Babies With "No Cap" Video

Back in 2013, Coach K of Quality Control brought a buzzin' rap trio through to the VIBE offices. Migos' "Fight Night" was a club hit and "Versace" with Drake was ruling the game. He announced Quavo and Takeoff, but the third member looked different from the pics we saw previously. "This is Rich The Kid," he stated calmly. "He's rolls with us." Rich wasn't known heavily at that point, but what we determined by his easy going nature and ability to network was this kid is a star, or soon will be.

The smartest thing about that whole scene was how Coach K did a great press run for the Migos as a trio, even with Offset locked up at the time. Having Rich The Kid roll with them accomplished the mission of keeping the Migos' look as a trio annnnd establishing another new artist at the same time. As the relationship didn't materialize as Rich being on Quality Control, it provided the youngin' valuable knowledge on the game and how to do roll outs and such. Thus, Rich The Kid's own Rich Forever Music label being born a few years ago. With enormous success on his own with hits and tours under his belt, the New York native turned Georgia repper started signing up talent. Most notable acts Famous Dex and Jay Critch signed with Rich bolstering his start up company (established in 2016) to fast recognition.

Now in the same way that Rich was introduced to VIBE, 83 Babies are following suit. A few months ago the North Carolina trio, with strikingly similar sounds to Migos', came through the office with a visiting Rich The Kid, who was playing our team some of his unreleased album cuts. We got a chance to kick it with Lil Tony, Set It Off and Young Boss Tevo for a sec. With their minds taking in the atmosphere, we learned that they were in a tug-of-war state as various labels were vying for their talent. Judging from the Rich announcement of 83 Babies being signed to Rich Forever Music this past March, the fellas made their choice.

With co-signs from the Migos and many others, 83 Babies have a clear shot at success. The trap rap "No Cap" single and video finds the group stating just who they are in their music, real dudes that happen to rhyme. Slated to open up on Rich The Kid's "The World Is Yours 2" tour, the three MCs will learn about traveling the country for fans that have never seen you up close. We are sure they are more than ready.

Watch their newest video above.

View this post on Instagram

BIG 83 BABIES

A post shared by BIG 83 Babies (@the83babies) on Apr 28, 2019 at 9:04am PDT

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Blac Chyna Denies Lying About Acceptance Into Harvard Business School

Blac Chyna is on a media blitz promoting her new reality show and setting the record straight about various rumors. During an interview with The Breakfast Club Friday (May 17), Chyna responded to reports that she lied about being accepted into Harvard’s online extension program after the university denied that she was a enrolled.

“[I] wasn’t lying I’m still going through the process right now,” she told the radio hosts while explaining that Harvard offers online and extension programs in addition to general attendance. “Honestly I’m just tired of people with the stories,” she said reiterating that she is “still going through the process” of enrolling in the prestigious institution's online program.

The 31-year-old mother of two went on to address a recent altercation with her hairdresser, though she wasn’t able to go too deeply into detail for legal reasons. Later in the interview she spoke about Tyga, her relationship with Rob Kardashian and his family, getting Future’s name tattooed on her hand, and The Real Black Chyna, a docuseries airing on the Zues Network that will show her “everyday life.”

“I feel like I haven’t really spoken in all these years so it’s time for me to put out my side.”

Watch the full interview below.

Continue Reading

Top Stories