April 15, 2024

Music mogul Russell Simmons has been sued by a former Def Jam Recordings government who says the label co-founder raped her at his residence within the mid-Nineties.

The plaintiff, recognized as Jane Doe within the lawsuit filed in New York federal courtroom Tuesday, stated her profession within the music trade was “disrupted and derailed” by Simmons’ alleged abusive conduct, which the swimsuit claims went unchallenged for many years as a result of his wealth and affect.

“Whereas at first Mr. Simmons and Ms. Doe had knowledgeable working relationship, Mr. Simmons revealed his true colours and, by his assaultive conduct, disabled Ms. Doe’s profession at Def Jam, a job she beloved, on the top of her success and monetary viability,” the criticism states.

Simmons co-founded Def Jam Recordings with Rick Rubin within the Nineteen Eighties, solidifying the pair as pioneering figures within the hip-hop world. Jane Doe says she was working as a senior-level music government on the label, main the video manufacturing division by “fast development and enlargement,” when the alleged harassment started.

On one event, Doe says she went to Simmons’ Manhattan residence to get his approval of a music video, which she says was a typical observe on the label. That point, nevertheless, Simmons’ alleged continued sexual harassment — which she claims included him making innuendos, advances and following her across the workplace — escalated. 

Doe says the music producer tried to “wrestle” her “in an try to look playful” earlier than asking her to have intercourse with him. The plaintiff says regardless of her repeated rejections, Simmons insisted, “forcefully pinned” her down on the mattress then raped her, the lawsuit states.

The criticism says Doe was “endlessly modified” after the alleged incident and started struggling “overwhelming nervousness, disgrace, humiliation and debilitating low vanity.” Shortly after, she resigned from Def Jam and moved to Los Angeles, the place she says she left three high-end manufacturing jobs in two years as a result of psychological well being struggles.

Jane Doe, who now works as a movie author and producer, seeks not less than $75,000 in damages for the costs of sexual battery/assault, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional misery and a violation of New York’s Gender Motivated Violence Act. 

It was additionally filed underneath New York’s Grownup Survivors Act, which allowed sexual assault survivors a one-year window to pursue authorized motion towards abusers irrespective of when it occurred. Many different high-profile figures had been sued underneath the regulation, together with Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jamie Foxx, Jimmy Iovine and Cuba Gooding Jr. Nonetheless, the window closed in November, so it is unclear whether or not this swimsuit can proceed underneath the act.

Nonetheless, Jane Doe’s swimsuit provides one other sexual assault declare towards Simmons, whose troubles started in 2017 because the #MeToo motion took maintain of the leisure trade.

In November of that yr, mannequin Keri Claussen Khalighi and author Jenny Lumet got here ahead with rape allegations towards Simmons — each crimes individually going down in 1991 and whereas the previous was 17 years previous. The following month, the Los Angeles Instances and The New York Instances each revealed stories on the identical day detailing 9 girls’s accounts of Simmons sexually assaulting them, 4 of whom alleged rape.

In complete, not less than 14 assault and rape claims have come out towards Simmons. He had already offered his share of Def Jam a long time earlier than the allegations, however he stepped down from his different roles on the label and a number of different jobs following them.

Simmons has denied the allegations towards him, saying after Khalighi got here ahead in 2017, “I utterly and unequivocally deny the horrendous allegations of non-consensual intercourse towards me with each fiber of my being … Abusing girls in any manner form or type violates the very core of my being.”

In December, Simmons repeated these notions throughout an interview on “In Depth with Graham Bensinger.”

“I’ve by no means been violent to anyone,” Simmons stated. “After all I have been insensitive, however definitely by no means been forceful in any of my relationships, all of which I’ve had have been consensual.”

He additionally revealed throughout the section that he’d slept with “1000’s” of individuals and was in “so many compromising conditions that folks can have a recollection from 30 or 40 years in the past, and it may be completely different from my recollection.”


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