NYPD Opens Investigation Into Russell Simmons, Co-Founder Of Def Jam Records, for Sexual Assault Allegations
After nearly ten women have come forward accusing Russell Simmons of rape and inappropriate sexual behavior, the NYPD Special Victims Unit decided to open a formal investigation into the music mogul’s allegations.
According to Deadline, Simmons responded to the news of the NYPD investigation, “Today, I begin to properly defend myself. I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges.”
Simmons stepped away from his company a number of weeks ago when the claims were initially aired. The women accusing Simmons of sexual assault range from previous employees to music journalists to massage therapists.
Some of the accounts sound very familiar to the Weinstein accusations. Erin Beattie, a massage therapist, claims while she was giving Simmons a massage, he exposed himself as well as made lewd sexual comments.
Drew Dixon, a former Def Jam Records employee told the New York Times that she was regularly sexually harassed by Simmons in 1995. She recalls him exposing himself to her, which eventually led to him raping her in his Manhattan apartment.
Tonie Sallie, a former music journalist for Black Radio Exclusive met and briefly dated Simmons in 1987. After a few dates, she decided they weren’t a good match, but remained friends with Simmons. She was invited to a Party by Simmons at his apartment, stating it was a party for his current girlfriend. However, when she arrived at the apartment, it was empty except for Simmons who, according to the Deadline article, “led her to his bedroom, pushed her on the bed, jumped on top of her and ‘physically attached me.”
“We were made aware of the alleged crime through the media, and we anticipate there will be more who come forward,” an NYPD source told Deadline. “We’re in the process of setting up interviews and if any victims want to come forward, they should contact us.”
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