Three women have accused music mogul Russell Simmons of rape.
Drew Dixon told the New York Times she was working as an executive at Def Jam Recordings in 1995 when she was raped by Simmons in his downtown Manhattan apartment after a prolonged campaign of sexual harassment.
Tina Baker, a singer who Simmons managed in the early 90s, claims the multi-millionaire sexually assaulted her after inviting her back to his place to ‘discuss her career’.
Instead, she claims, he pinned he on the bed and raped her.
‘I did nothing, I shut my eyes and waited for it to end,’ she said, adding that she was so distraught she didn’t sing for a year afterwards.
Music journalist Toni Sallie shared a very similar story after she went to interview the powerful entertainment mogul in the late 1980s.
She claims he invited her back to his apartment for a party he said he was hosting for his girlfriend. But when she arrived, it was just the two of them. Sallie says that, despite her repeated protestations, he forced himself on her and raped her.
The women all say they were too scared to report the alleged sexual assaults at the time, but have come forward in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo campaign.
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Russel Simmons has quit his business and music empire after being accused of sexual misconduct by a second woman
Drew Dixon (pictured) says Russell Simmons sexually harassed her repeatedly when she was an executive at his label, Def Jam Recordings
Tina Baker, a singer who went by the name Tina B, said Simmons raped her in the early 1990s when he was her manager. She is pictured on her single January February in the mid-80s
Music journalist Toni Sallie (pictured left as a young journalist, and more recently, right) shared a very similar story after she went to interview the powerful entertainment mogul in the late 1980s
The trio are not the first to accuse Simmons of sexual assault.
Just last month, Sidney Lumet’s daughter Jenny, an actress and screenwriter, accused Simmons of forcing her to have sex with him after allegedly locking her in his car and taking her to his apartment against her will in 1991.
And earlier this year, former model Keri Claussen Khalighi claims she too was assaulted by him in the same apartment as Brett Ratner watched.
Simmons, 60, who stepped down from music, fashion and media empire last month after Lumet’s claims, strenuously denies all the allegations.
‘I vehemently deny all these allegations,’ he said in a statement. ‘These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual.’
He claims that one woman had ‘attempted to extort me for $500,000 only to recant her ridiculous claim.’
Dixon told the Times how at 24, she had just recently landed her dream job at Def Jam Recordings when she says the sexual harassment began.
SIMMONS’ FULL STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO RAPE ALLEGATIONS
I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual.
I am blessed to have shared extraordinary relationships, whether through work or love, with many great women; and I have enormous respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power. I am devastated by any reason I may have given to anyone to say or think of me in the ways that are currently being described. In recent weeks, some former business, creative and romantic partners have aired grievances as claims I categorically reject. In some of these instances, financial motives and direct contradictory witness testimony has been supplied to the media, which has been completely left out of stories. In the last few days, one woman attempted to extort me for $500,000 only to recant her ridiculous claim. The current allegations sent to me by The New York Times range from the patently untrue to the frivolous and hurtful. The presumption of innocent until proven guilty must not be replaced by ‘Guilty by Accusation.’
I have already apologized for the instances of thoughtlessness in my consensual relations. I have separated myself from my businesses and charities in order to not become a distraction. I have re-dedicated myself to spiritual learning, healing and working on behalf of the communities to which I have devoted my life. I have accepted that I can and should get dirt on my sleeves if it means witnessing the birth of a new consciousness about women. What I will not accept is responsibility for what I have not done. I have conducted my life with a message of peace and love. Although I have been candid about how I have lived in books and interviews detailing my flaws, I will relentlessly fight against any untruthful character assassination that paints me as a man of violence.
She says Simmons would regularly expose his erect penis to her and talk about how much she turned him on.
At a restaurant, he allegedly pushed her into a brook closet and attempted to kiss her, and at one staff meeting she even asked her to come and sit on his lap, she told the Times. But she felt he was too powerful for her to confront about the harassment.
‘Russell was like the king of hip-hop,’ she said.
She said she hoped she could ride about the harassment until she got a bona fide hit when she could make her escape.
‘I didn’t want to cut off my one conduit to having any hope of a career,’ she said.
But things only got worse.
Dixons says he would flash his erect penis at her so often, she created a code with her male co-worker
‘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.
In 1995, Dixon’s first major project, creating the soundtrack for a music documentary went platinum. One evening, she was leaving a Manhattan bar, near Simmons’ apartment, when she ran into the executive.
She says he told her: ‘You have the No. 1 record in the country; I’ll order you a car.’
Jenny Lumet, the 50-year-old daughter of the late film director Sidney Lumet, claimed on Thursday that Simmons forced her into having sex with him in 1991 when she was 24 and he was ten years older. She is pictured with her father in 2008.
Sidney died in 2011
Lumet grew up in famous film and music circles. She is pictured with her late father in 1985. Her grandmother is the jazz singer Lena Horne who Simmons told her he was a fan of
While waiting for the car, she says she accepted his offer to wait inside his apartment. But Dixon said as soon as she entered the apartment with him, she realized her mistake and felt ‘cornered’.
‘The last thing I remember was him pinning me down to kiss me on the bed,’ she said. Dixon explained that while she hadn’t been drinking, and didn’t think she’d been given drugs, she’d suppressed the painful memory and disassociated from the experience.
Four friends of Dixon reported that she had told them about the assault and harassment at that time.
A lawyer for Simmons said that he conceded there had been ‘inappropriate conduct’ with Dixon while she worked at Def Jam, he absolutely denied having sex with her.
Former Victoria’s Secret model Keri Claussen Khalighi (pictured in 1995) also claims she was sexually assaulted by the hip hop legend Dixon, a rising star in the music industry, quit Def Jam a short while later and joined Arista Records, as an A&R executive. She threatened to sue her firm over unpaid expenses and to sue Simmons of sexual harassment. They company settled before any lawsuit was filed for $30,000.
Dixon went onto to enjoy success at Arista until LA Reid took over the label in 2000, who she says also sexually harassed her. Dixon eventually left the industry altogether in 2002 to go to Harvard Business School.
Baker’s career as a singer also suffered after her experience with Simmons, she claims, saying that she went ‘into oblivion.’
He was her manager in the 1990s, so when she ran into him in a nightclub in late 1990 or early 1991, and he invited her back to his to discuss her career, she didn’t think twice.
Baker, who performed as Tina B and was a backup singer for Madonna and Bruce Springsteen, said she’d been the producer’s home on several previous occasions without any problem.
But that night, things changed,
‘It all got really ugly, pretty fast,’ Baker said.
She said almost as soon as Simmons closed the door, he was on her, groping her and telling him not to fight him.
‘I did nothing, I shut my eyes and waited for it to end,’ she said.
Baker said she cried all the way home after the alleged assault and told her roommate at the time, her ex-husband, another music producer and two therapists – all of whom confirmed she told them at the time.
She said she fell into a deep depression after the alleged rape but was still tied to Simmons as her manager.
Baker said that after the assualt, she was forced to return to his penthouse apartment for a meeting where she says he took out his penis and moved towards her. She ran.
Simmons (center in white t-shirt) was already a star in 1991 thanks to the popularity of Run DMC and the success of his music label Def Jam, which he founded with Rick Rubin. He is pictured with Fab Five Freddy and Red Alert US in 1990, a year before the alleged sex attacks
After that her music career suffered. She later left the industry completely to become a lawyer.
But the alleged rape also deeply affected her private life. She says that she ‘went into a cocoon’ and didn’t have sex with another man for nine years.
Sallie first met Simmons when she was 28, in 1987 for an interview for Black Radio Exclusive.
The pair even went on a couple of dates before deciding they were better off as friends.
RUSSELL SIMMONS STATEMENT ON STEPPING DOWN FROM DEF JAM
I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991. I know Jenny and her family and have seen her several times over the years since the evening she described. While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real. While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize.
This is a time of great transition. The voices of the voiceless, those who have been hurt or shamed, deserve and need to be heard. As the corridors of power inevitably make way for a new generation, I don’t want to be a distraction so I am removing myself from the businesses that I founded. The companies will now be run by a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives who are moving the culture and consciousness forward. I will convert the studio for yogic science into a not-for-profit center of learning and healing. As for me, I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.
The following year, the millionaire entrepreneur, from Queens, New York, reportedly invited her to a party he was throwing for his girlfriend at the time.
But Sallie says that when she arrived she was shocked to find it was just herself and Simmons. He told he he wanted to show her his penthouse.
She says he attacked her, pushing her onto the bed, jumping on top of her, and raping her.
Sallie said she was terrified of making a formal complaint to the police in case it damaged her career, although she told a few close friends at the time.
‘You have to understand, I was very much in a man’s game,’ Sallie said. ‘Black women were just starting to break into the field.’
Around a year later, she saw the exec in a South Florida hotel lobby while attending a music conference. She claims he attacked her again, grabbing her by the hair and trying to take her to a dark, quiet beach.
The journalist said she escaped, and ran up to her room where she barricade the door.
The alleged experiences with Simmons means that to this day, Sallie finds herself in tears and says she does not ‘feel comfortable in a room full of men.’
When she tried to tell other music execs about the hotel incident she said they ignored her claims.
Sallie said she finally decided to go public about the allegations after reading about Lumet’s allegations against Simmons last month, and reported the incident to the Manhattan district attorney’s office. However, no charges can be brought as the statute of limitations has passed.
Simmons’ layer insists that ‘at no time’ did his client act inappropriately with Sallie.
Lumet, the daughter of legendary film producer Sidney and Gail Buckley, whose grandmother is the iconic jazz singer Lena Horne, was familiar with Simmons having socialized with him in groups for years beforehand.
In an open letter to Simmons that was published by, The Hollywood Reporter, Lumet said she was prompted to share her accusations after reading Simmons’ denial of the other woman’s claims.
The alleged experiences with Simmons means that to this day, Sallie finds herself in tears and says she does not ‘feel comfortable in a room full of men’
She says she was 24, and he 10 years older, when he forced himself on her after locking the doors of his chauffeur-driven car once she was inside it.
Lumet claimed he told her he had a ‘thing for a little yellow girl’, an apparent reference to her mixed-race.
She also claims that he once sent her 250 balloons with a note which read: ‘Please baby, please baby, baby, baby, baby.’
On the night of the alleged encounter, she said he switched from the bubbly and friendly person she knew and said ‘no’ twice after she gave his chauffeur her address.
They had both been at the Manhattan restaurant Inodchine, dining separately, when she says he lured her to the vehicle by offering her a ride home.
She says she gave the driver her address but Simmons responded ‘no.’
‘Then, the car doors locked. It was loud. The noise made me jump.’
Once at his apartment building, she says he led her into an elevator where he ‘pressed his body and mouth’ on to her as they ascended to his apartment.
Former Victoria’s Secret Model Keri Claussen Khaligli described how she was allegedly raped by Simmons in his apartment while Hollywood figure Brett Ratner watched
There, she says he led her into his ‘dark’ bedroom where the alleged attack took place.
‘It was dark, but not pitch dark. You closed the door. At that point, I simply did what I was told. There was penetration. At one point you were only semi-erect and appeared frustrated.
‘Angry? I remember being afraid that you would deem that my fault and become violent. I did not know if you were angry, but I was afraid that you were,’ she said.
She then described how Simmons told her to ‘turn on to’ her stomach before he ejaculated.
‘I desperately wanted to keep the situation from escalating. I wanted you to feel that I was not going to be difficult. I wanted to stay as contained as I could. You told me to turn over on my stomach. You said something about a part of my body. You did not ejaculate inside me,’ she said.
Afterwards, she claims she got herself a taxi and went home.
The pair continued to run in to one another at events including the Oscars for years after the alleged attack. According to Lumet, they were cordial and ‘nodded’ at one another but never spoke of the sexual encounter again.
Lummet and Simmons worked together on the 1988 film Tougher Than Leather which was put together to promote Run DMC’s latest album at the time. She is seen above with Joseph Simmons, aka Rev Run, Russell’s brother who was the star of the group while he was the group’s producer
She said she was suddenly compelled to address it this month after watching him deny the claims of others who say he has abused them.
‘I can’t leave those women twisting in the wind. Maybe the recalling of this incident can be helpful. I don’t know if it can. ‘In this very moment, I feel a pang to protect your daughters. I don’t think you are inclined to protect mine,’ she said.
In response to her claims, Simmons released a statement to say he was stepping down from his business empire.
Simmons said his companies will be taken over and controlled now by ‘a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives’.
Earlier this month, former Victoria’s Secret Model Keri Claussen Khaligli described how she was allegedly raped by Simmons in his apartment while Hollywood figure Brett Ratner watched.
She said the three had been at dinner and retreated to Simmons apartment afterwards.
In response, Simmons issued a strongly worded denial.
‘I completely and unequivocally deny the horrendous allegations of non-consensual sex against me with every fiber of my being,’ he said.
Simmons has three children with ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons. He has been in a relationship with 31-year-old German model Hana Nitsche for five years.
At the time of his alleged attacks on Lumet and Khalighi, he had not yet met his first wife.