Extra’s A.J. Calloway vehemently denies sexual assault allegation
Extra host A.J. Calloway is the latest celebrity to be named in a sexual assault case after author and activist Sil Lai Abrams accused him specifically of sexual assault and music mogul Russell Simmons of rape.
Calloway denies the claim and released a statement about the story Abrams shared with the Hollywood Reporter last week.
“I was disappointed to read the false allegations about me in The Hollywood Reporter,” he said in a statement to ESSENCE.
“As I have maintained from the beginning, these allegations are not true. When I was first notified about these allegations by law enforcement more than a decade ago, I fully cooperated from the beginning and the case was dismissed.”
He continued: “THR chose to publish these meritless allegations without a thorough investigation of the facts. I intend to vigorously defend my reputation against these false accusations and will not let this cause further harm to my family.”
Abrams wrote a book No More Drama in 2007 about the allegations against Calloway and Simmons, but she didn’t name the men in the book. She said the assaults happened 12 years apart. In Calloway’s case, Abrams contends that he made unwarranted sexual advances toward her after they worked together on a fundraising event.
“When she told him it was time for her to head home, he offered to drive her. Once they were en route, he asked, ‘Do you see what you do to me?’ When she turned, she says, she was shocked to see that he was displaying his erect penis. She says she told him, ‘Why don’t you do us both a favor and put that away?’” the article states.
The Hollywood Reporter continues: “Abrams says it was late and cold and she wasn’t far from home. Calculating that he wouldn’t push things too far, she says, she decided not to bolt out of the car. But when he pulled up outside her building, she says he started kissing her and fondling her breast, and she saw he was exposing himself again. He tried to push her head down on his lap, she says, and when she pulled away, he grabbed her hand, put it on his penis and stroked himself until he ejaculated. Before getting out of the car, she says she angrily asked him why he had done it. Soon after she was back in her apartment, she says, he called to apologize.”
Calloway was arrested after Abrams filed a police report but the charges were later dismissed “on procedural grounds.”
Once the #MeToo movement took flight, Abrams tried to share her story with MSNBC’s Joy Reid, but the interview got stalled.
Abrams said Simmons raped her back in 1994 after they both partied and drank heavily.
Simmons has been accused by more than a dozen women. He denied having sex with Abrams.