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Ashhurst, who was then working closely with Simmons on Def Pictures, was privy to a contract re-negotiation meeting with Sony from 1996, one that showed he possessed “the ability to turn his empathy off at will.” In , she recounts that Simmons burst into tears when Sony rejected his multi-million dollar advance request, invoking his dying mother to sway the Sony lawyers into providing better terms.
When Ashhurst and Simmons left the meeting and got into his car, Simmons turned to her, smiling, and asked, “How’d I do? Drew Dixon, who worked under Simmons as a Def Jam A&R executive from 1992 to ’96, told the that fending off Simmons’ sexual advances was “a full-time job.” This long-standing sexual harassment allegedly included regular instances of Simmons exposing himself to Dixon in the workplace.
In 1991, model Keri Claussen Khalighi claims that Simmons tried to force her into intocourse before eventually coercing her into performing oral sex while director Brett Ratner, then Simmons’ protege, “just sat there and watched.” At one point, Simmons came up behind her in the shower and “briefly penetrated her without her consent,” she told the .
Not long afterwards, Simmons agreed to partner with Rubin to form Def Jam and released the label’s first single, LL Cool J’s “I Need a Beat.” A distribution deal with Columbia Records would be signed in the following year.
In was during this era (around 1983), that Simmons reportedly raped Sherri Hines—a member of one of the first all-female hip-hop groups, the Mercedes Ladies—in his office.
She gave one of her male co-workers a key to her office and told him, “If I ever buzz you, don’t pick up, don’t call me back—just open my door.
That means Russell is in here and he whipped his” penis out.
Model Keri Claussen Khalighi was the first to share her story of sexual coercion by Simmons, in a November .
Simmons denied Khalighi’s claims but responded to Lumet’s by saying, “While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real.” He subsequently announced he would step down from his numerous businesses.
After stepping down from his companies following reports of sexual coercion, Def Jam Recordings co-founder Russell Simmons now faces sexual assault and harassment allegations from 10 additional women.
These incidents span decades, with the earliest dating back to 1983 and the most recent reportedly taking place in 2014.
Both are intended to speak to the role power plays in patterns of sexual assault.
Simmons first met Rick Rubin in 1984, when the unlikely duo crossed paths at a launch party for the first-ever hip-hop TV series, “Graffiti Rock.” The 26-year-old drug dealer-turned-rap promoter, who’d found success working with Kurtis Blow and Run-DMC (featuring his brother Joey), was impressed with the production prowess of Rubin, then still a NYU student.
We’ve revisited Simmons’ life and career in the years surrounding the alleged incidents.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating