Russell Simmons Denies Rape Allegations By Writing "#NotMe"

Photo: Amy Graves/WireImage
Update: Simmons has taken to Instagram to defend himself, using the hashtag #NotMe.
"Today, I begin to properly defend myself," he wrote. "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!"
The rest of the post suggests he will continue to deny the allegations.
This comes after the LA Times wrote about five additional accusers who claim Simmons sexually harassed, assaulted, or otherwise took advantage of them.
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Original story follows.
Following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, three women have accused Russell Simmons of rape in a harrowing exposé published by The New York Times on Wednesday.
Simmons, who famously co-founded Def Jam Recordings in 1984, has been one of the most influential figures in hip-hop for more than 30 years. Though The Times confirmed that each of the women told at least one person about the assault after it happened, they all said they were too afraid to come forward publicly with their experiences until now, citing the outpouring of people who have exposed men like Harvey Weinstein and Brett Ratner as their inspiration.
One woman, Drew Dixon, said that she "was broken" after Simmons raped her in his NYC apartment in 1995. She was 24, and she said she quit her job as an executive at Def Jam shortly after that.
Two other women, singer Tina Baker and music journalist Toni Sallie, alleged that Simmons had raped them, too, in the early '90s and late '80s, respectively. In each instance, the women allege that he aggressively forced himself on them.
"If I went to the police, I didn't know how that would turn out," Sallie said. Later, she added: "You have to understand, I was very much in a man's game. Black women were just starting to break into the field."
She said she still doesn't "feel comfortable in a room full of men."
The violating encounter had a lasting impact on Baker, too, who said she refrained from having sex for nine years.
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All three women described Simmons' pattern of sexual harassment and assault. Dixon claimed he'd asked her sit on his lap during a meeting; Sallie said he attacked her and grabbed her hair; Baker said he'd shown her his penis. The instances got so bad that Dixon told The Times she had given a coworker a key to her office.
"I was like: 'If I ever buzz you, don't pick up, don't call me back — just open my door. That means Russell is in here and he whipped his [penis out],'" she said.
These disturbing stories align with allegations other women have presented in recent weeks. Jenny Lumet, for example, recently wrote a column for The Hollywood Reporter claiming that Simmons "performed a nonconsensual act" in 1991. The Los Angeles Times reports that actress Natashia Williams-Blach said Simmons once tried "to force her to perform oral sex," while massage therapist Erin Beattie said he asked her "to work this out" referring to his penis.
Simmons has denied most of these allegations — he did admit to acting inappropriately with Lumet and stepped down from his companies last month — and told The Times in a statement that "all of my relations have been consensual."
"I have enormous respect for the women's movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power," the statement continued.
If you have experienced sexual violence of any kind, please visit Rape Crisis or call 0808 802 9999.
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