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Russell Simmons Accused of Sexual Misconduct by Nine Additional Women

The allegations reported by The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times date back to 1983 and detail instances of sexual harassment, assault, and, in four cases, rape

Russell Simmons sitting down and holding a microphone Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Culture Creators

Nine more women have come forward with accusations of sexual harassment and assault against Def Jam Recordings cofounder Russell Simmons, in reports published Wednesday by The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. Four of the women who came forward say Simmons raped them.

The accusations stem from incidents that stretch over several decades, from as early as 1983 — when Sherri Hines, a member of the hip-hop group Mercedes Ladies, says Simmons raped her in his office — to 2016, when comedian Amanda Seales says the music mogul sexually harassed her at the office of his media company, All Def Digital. Drew Dixon, who was a music executive at Def Jam in the ’90s, said Simmons raped her at his apartment in 1995. She resigned from the company — “I was broken,” she told The New York Times — and, after she said she dealt with sexual harassment at another record label from producer L.A. Reid, Dixon left the industry altogether. Reid left his job at Epic Records in May after a female employee said he sexually harassed her. Simmons’s alleged behavior also extended outside his businesses: Christina Moore told The New York Times that in 2014, Simmons led her and a friend to his hotel room in Miami when they told him they were lost. Moore said Simmons pushed her up against a column in the hotel room and “threatened to tie her up” before she and her friend escaped.

Many of the women said that in the past, they feared coming forward against Simmons due to his stature in the entertainment industry, but have recently been emboldened by the women who spoke out against Harvey Weinstein and by Simmons’s previous denials of sexual assault allegations.

Simmons denied all of the new allegations in statements provided to The New York Times and L.A. Times. “I vehemently deny all these allegations,” he told The New York Times. “These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual.” Additionally, Simmons wrote on Instagram that he “never had a sexual encounter that was not consensual or lawful.”

Previously, stories of sexual harassment and assault by Simmons had been detailed by ex-model Keri Claussen Khalighi and screenwriter Jenny Lumet, who wrote a column for The Hollywood Reporter in November detailing an assault from Simmons. Following Lumet’s column, Simmons announced that he would step down from his businesses and “commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.”