Russell Simmons Issues Statement Following New Rape Allegations: ‘I’m Deeply Saddened’
Another woman has come forward accusing Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons of sexual assault.
Alexia Norton Jones, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.'s attorney/speechwriter Clarence Jones, told Variety that in November 1990, she went on a date with Simmons and afterward he invited her to see his new apartment in downtown Manhattan. It was in his apartment that Jones says Simmons pinned her against the wall and raped her. “It was such a fast attack,” she recalled. “He pulled my dress up. I must have said no seven to 10 times.”
After leaving the apartment distraught and in shock, Jones said that Simmons continued to pursue her and attend the same social gathering as her. Norton says that she has forgiven Simmons.
However, last spring, Jones filed a police report with the NYPD, from her home in Arizona, detailing the incident. Although her case fell outside the statute of limitations in New York for felonies, she wanted to stand in solidarity with the other alleged victims of abuse by the rap mogul. Jones says she isn’t seeking any monetary damages.
In a statement toVariety, Simmons has denied Jones’ allegations:
I'm deeply saddened by this story from Alexia,” Simmons said. “At no time did she share these feelings about her first sexual encounter with me, which took place roughly 28 years ago. I have taken multiple lie detector tests that affirm I never sexually assaulted anyone. Alexia and I dated, were intimate and attended multiple events together after she alleges the incident occurred in 1990. I considered her a friend for all these years and continue to have a warm relationship with members of her family. I believe we last spoke in 2006 when she called to express her disappointment over the fact that I had not attended an event honoring her father."
A rep for Simmons also provided a written statement by his driver, Kenneth L. Jennings, who has worked for him since 1989 and recalls driving Simmons and Jones on over ten dates in 1990. Jones maintains that she never dated Simmons. However, she acknowledged that she called him over 12 years ago, asking why he hadn’t attended an event that honored her father. She never told her dad what Simmons allegedly had done to her. Variety also confirmed to Jones spoke to a therapist about the alleged assault in their sessions.
Currently, 16 women have accused Simmons of sexual misconduct or rape, including model Keri Claussen Khalighi, former music executive Drew Dixon, music journalist Toni Sallie, screenwriter Jenny Lumet, "Real Housewives of New York" Luann de Lesseps, fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone, filmmaker Jennifer Jarosik and many others.
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