Simmons says he will ‘defend’ himself following rape claims

NEW YORK (AP) — Music mogul Russell Simmons said on Instagram that he plans to defend himself a day after a New York Times story published claims by three women saying he raped them.

The allegations in the Times’ Wednesday report stem from the 1980s and 1990s. Simmons denied the allegations Wednesday and again on Thursday.

“Today, I begin to properly defend myself. I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges,” Simmons wrote Thursday on Instagram.

Related: Russell Simmons steps down from companies amid allegation 

Simmons posted his words under a photo that read #NotMe, explaining that he isn’t trying to go against the anti-harassment movement #MeToo, where millions have shared their stories about being sexually harassed and assaulted.

“My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in any way, but instead hold my accusers accountable,” he wrote. “Again, this is not a movement against or even in conjunction with #MeToo. It’s just a statement about my innocence.”

Also on Thursday, the New York Police Department confirmed that it is investigating the rape claims and are reaching out to the alleged victims.

“Our detectives are in the process of reviewing that information,” Deputy Chief Timothy Trainor said in a statement.

The allegations in the Times story weren’t the first to hit Simmons. Model Keri Claussen Khalighi said Simmons coerced her to perform a sex act and later penetrated her without her consent in 1991. Simmons said the sex with Klalighi was consensual.

“Today, I will focus on ‘The Original Sin’ (Keri Claussen), the claim that created this insane pile,” Simmons wrote on Instagram. “Stay tuned! We’ll share information today.”

He also said “and tomorrow the case of Jenny Lumet,” referring to the screenwriter who said Simmons had sex with her more than two decades ago despite her repeated demands that he stop. Simmons said he had a different memory of the night but apologized. Following Lumet’s claims, HBO said it would edit out any link to Simmons in its “All Def Comedy” show.

Simmons founded Def Jam Recordings with mega-producer Rick Rubin in 1984. It made stars of such hip-hop artists as LL Cool J, Slick Rick, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s