In a post denying the #MeToo claims leveled against him, Russell Simmons penned a message categorically denying accusations of rape with a hashtag of his own: #NotMe.
The hip-hop mogul posted the following on Instagram:
“Today, I begin to properly defend myself. I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges. Today, I will focus on “The Original Sin” (Keri Claussen), the claim that created this insane pile on of my #MeToo. Stay tuned! We’ll share information today… And tomorrow the case of Jenny Lumet. My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in anyway, but instead hold my accusers accountable. #NotMe Again, this is not a movement against or even in conjunction with #Metoo. It’s just a statement about my innocence.”
More than 10 women have now come forward accusing Simmons of rape or sexual harassment as far back as the 1980s, and as recent as 2014.
Former music journalist Toni Sallie told the New York Times that Simmons raped her inside his Manhattan apartment. The two had went on a few dates, however, Sallie says she determined that they were a great match. When Simmons invited her to a party for his girlfriend at his place, she soon discovered that no one was no one there. Instead he led her to his bedroom.
“He pushed me on the bed and jumped on top of me, and physically attacked me,” Sallie said. “We were fighting. I said no.”
Tina Baker, who was being managed by Simmons, says he raped her in the early ’90s. Simmons, she said, invited her to his place to “discuss her career” after running into each other at a club. Simmons began pouring drinks and trying to kiss her.
Baker said when she resisted, Simmons told her “don’t fight” and climbed on top of her while she was pinned to the bed. “I did nothing, I shut my eyes and waited for it to end,” she recalled.
Drew Dixon, who worked as the A&R director at Simmon’s Def Jams Records, claimed her former boss once pushed her into a broom closet and tried to kiss her. Simmons would often expose himself to her, she claimed.
Through his lawyer, Mr. Simmons acknowledged that he engaged in “inappropriate conduct” with Ms. Dixon while she worked at Def Jam. Dixon recalled one night in which Simmons offered to order her a cab from a bar near his home. After entering his apartment to wait for the cab, she said, Simmons forced himself on her.
“I just blacked out,” Dixon said. “The last thing I remember was him pinning me down to kiss me on the bed.”