Russell Simmons was accused of rape by four women in various incidents between 1983 to 1996. Five other women alleged sexual misconduct by the Def Jam co-founder in 2016. The allegations were picked up the New York Times and Los Angeles Times and Simmons issued statements to both newspapers. The 60-year-old hip-hop legend denied the accusations and extended support for women speaking out against abusive men.
“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," read Simmons' statement to the New York Times.
In November 30, Simmons had announced that he was stepping down from his roles as a businessman after two women accused him of assault. Simmons denied those claims.
According to the New York Times, the alleged patterns apparently show Simmons using his influence to dominate over the victims and then lure them into situations where he would sexually assault them.
Tina Baker, a singer being managed by Simmons, was invited to his apartment in 1990 or 1991. She said that Simmons raped her while she was there. Baker user to perform as a back-up for Madonna and Bruce Springsteen.
Simmons said he never had sex with Baker and stated: "I vehemently deny all these allegations."
Simmons has recently changed his image to a clean and spiritual person, unlike many in the hip hop industry. He promotes yoga and veganism.
Simmons and his fellow producer Rick Rubin founded Def Jam, bringing hip-hop to US audiences in the 1980s. Def Jam signed major acts such as the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J and Public Enemy.Read More