Uh Oh…Russell Simmons Fires Back As He Becomes The Latest Celebrity Accused Of Sexual Misconduct
When Harvey Weinstein found himself at the center of a major sexual assault scandal, his downfall opened the door for many celebrities to share details about their own disheartening experiences. sexual assault allegations have been running rampant all over the news. Dozens of celebrities are now opening up about the sexual assault and harassment they endured at the hands of some of Hollywood’s biggest executives. Now, there’s another Hollywood mogul who’s been hit with assault allegations – Russell Simmons.
According to Variety, Russell Simmons and Brett Ratner are the latest men in Hollywood accused of sex crimes. It has been reported that Simmons and Ratner are both being investigated by the Beverly Hills Police Department for their alleged involvement in a 2001 incident. A 29-year-old woman reportedly showed up at one of the Beverly Hills stations on Nov. 3, 2001, around 4:45 a.m. The woman claimed she had been held against her will “by two males who both unlawfully touched her.” It was later revealed that the incident occurred at Ratner’s Hilhaven Lodge, home and he and Simmons were the two men involved.
Russell Simmons Fires Back:
Amid the resurfacing of the 2001 allegations, Russell Simmons has released a statement in response to the latest reports. He insists the claims are totally “untrue.” “This is an important and critical time for the empowerment of women and men who have been harassed. 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.”
He also commended the women who have come forward to shed light on sexual assault. “We all should thank them with complete gratitude. Even if there is collateral damage against me, I support it. I am a yogi and an activist and the father of two daughters who mean everything to me. I want them to live in a world where harassment is not the norm,” Simmons said.
His response to the latest recent reports follows the release of a statement from Ratner’s criminal attorney, Harland Braun. Not only did they deny the allegations, Braun also belittled the alleged victim claiming this was “not her first rodeo.” “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 summarized Ratner and Simmons’ account of the incident as follows: “We know her. She came to our house. Nothing happened. She’s making up a story.”
Although the D.A.’s office chose not to file charges against Ratner and Simmons, the 2001 accuser isn’t the only woman who has accused Ratner of sexual misconduct. The LA Times reports that a total of six women have come forward but he has yet to be charged with any form of sexual misconduct. With the problems Hollywood execs are facing now, Ratner and Simmons may be fighting an uphill battle to clear their name this time.