Russell Simmons is denying allegations made against him stemming back to an incident in 1991, saying whatever happened between himself and his accuser was “completely consensual.”
According to a new report in the Los Angeles Times, Keri Claussen Khalighi says she was 17-years-old when she met Simmons and director Brett Ratner at a casting call. She says they all went to dinner and then back to Simmons’ apartment when she claims Simmons began making aggressive sexual advances and yanking off her clothes.
She told the Times, “I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face. In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.”
Khalighi claims Simmons tried to force her to have intercourse, but she fought him off. She says eventually he forced her to perform oral sex while Ratner watched.
Simmons denied the allegations to the Times, saying, “Everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation.”
Through his attorney, Marty Singer, Ratner said he had “no recollection” of Khalighi asking him for help and denied witnessing her “protest.”
Simmons provided a lengthy statement to The Shade Room, which you can read below:
I completely and unequivocally deny the horrendous allegations of non-consensual sex against me with every fiber of my being.
I know Keri Claussen Khalighi and remember the weekend in 1991 that she has referenced. Everything that happened between us 26 years ago was completely consensual and with Keri’s full participation. We spent time in my apartment over a period of two days and one night, as well as at some public places including Nell’s Nightclub. Much of the time we were in the presence of other acquaintances. I’m deeply saddened and truly shocked to learn of Keri’s assertions as to what happened over the course of that weekend.
Let me be crystal clear and very direct. Abusing women in any way shape or form violates the very core of my being. I have always spoken out regarding my life experiences, women’s issues and the need to bring a faster and more decisive shift in the collective consciousness that will help bring about true women’s equality. More than anything, I want my daughters to live in a more equal world and a world where they will not become victims of sexual harassment.