Russell Simmons defends dating Kimora Lee Simmons as a teen: ‘She was legal’

The embattled hip hop mogul says his ex-wife was not underage when they met

Def Jam founder and hip hop mogul Russell Simmons is currently facing several accusations of sexual assault, including rape. As a result, his relationships with women have been re-examined, including his May-December marriage to model/entrepreneur Kimora Lee Simmons.

READ MORE: Reese Witherspoon wants to cast Ice Cube in ‘Big Little Lies’

Case in point: earlier this week Simmons posted a throwback picture of him and his ex-wife, wishing her a happy birthday. And amidst a sea of well wishes, one particularly bold follower questioned whether Simmons started dating Kimora while she was still a teenager.

And that’s when things got interesting.

According to The Jasmine Brand, in a since-deleted comment caught via screenshot Simmons responded, “I never do this but…. That’s not true… She turned 18 right after i met her February fashion week Tyra banks (our bridesmaid) Cindy Crawford Naomi were all backstage at the Mary McFadden show they said i was a modelizer and that i wasn’t gonna stick around… i think that may have inspired her.”

Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons in 2010. (Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Starbucks)

“We got to know each other by May we were dating. She was legal at 17 But she turned 18 that may her mother and her manager Bethann Hardison approved supported and Rushed us (we really didn’t need a push) and the love affair began People like to talk every so often i loose my cool and talk back so take this advice  Be happy and share happiness… try to think uplifting thoughts and keep learning to practice love… that’s our goal… oh and celebrate the queen @kimoraleesimmons”

As a matter of record, when Simmons met his wife, she was 17 and he was 35.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!