Music and clothing mogul Russell Simmons has been accused of sexually assaulting a model when she was just 17 years old. Keri Khalighi states that after a casting call for one of Simmons’ fashion shows, he took her to dinner along with Brett Ratner, a movie producer who has also been accused of raping several women in the past few weeks. Khalighi states that after the dinner, she was taken back to Simmons’ apartment and forced to perform sexual acts on Simmons while Ratner watched. She even states that she asked Ratner to help her, and he just smiled and continued to watch the abuse.
In a strange turn of events, Simmons has released a statement saying that he did have sexual relations with the model, who was a minor at the time of the incident. However, he claims that all of their encounters were consensual. He says that the model was more than willing to engage in sexual acts with him and that at no point did she say that she wanted their activities to stop. Simmons denies the accusation that his friend Brett Ratner was present at the time.
Russell Simmons states that he has long been an activist for women’s rights and wants his daughters to grow up in a world where they do not have to fear for their safety. In his statement, Simmons says that he admires those men and women who are brave enough to come forward with their stories of sexual abuse, but in this instance the accusations against him are false.
So far, Brett Ratner has not come forward and spoken about the allegations against his friend and former mentor. There have also been no other women stepping forward also accusing Simmons of sexually assaulting them, as has been the case with many of the other men who have allegedly carried out sexual misconduct.