Music mogul Russell Simmons says that people should believe him instead of the 11 women who have accused him of rape, assault, and sexual harassment. Simmons pleaded his innocence in a December 14 Instagram post, which he branded with the hashtag #NotMe, and promised to “prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges.”
Today, I begin to properly defend myself. 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! We’ll share information today... And tomorrow the case of Jenny Lumet. My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in anyway, but instead hold my accusers accountable. #NotMe Again, this is not a movement against or even in conjunction with #Metoo . It’s just a statement about my innocence.
Simmons’s post comes in the wake of two recent reports, published by the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times on December 13, in which nine different women made allegations against Simmons. Three of those women told the New York Times that Simmons raped them.
The two reports follow an open letter penned by screenwriter Jenny Lumet in the Hollywood Reporter, in which she recounts a 1991 encounter with Simmons where she says refused to take her to her apartment after offering her a ride home, and ultimately forced himself on her.
Lumet’s letter followed a Los Angeles Times report published in November, in which Keri Claussen Khalighi said that Simmons sexually assaulted her in 1991, when she was 17 and working as a model.
In his Instagram post, Simmons mentioned both Lumet and Claussen Khalighi by name, declaring, “Today, I will focus on ‘The Original Sin’ (Keri Claussen), the claim that created this insane pile on of my #MeToo. Stay tuned! We’ll share information today... And tomorrow the case of Jenny Lumet.”
Simmons stepped down from his various companies in November after the allegations against him were made public.