There are more allegations of sexual assault being made against music producer Russell Simmons.
In reports in Wednesday’s New York Times and Los Angeles Times, a total of four women accuse Simmons of rape. Former Def Jam Records employee Drew Dixon, former music journalist Tonie Sallie and performer Tina Baker told The New York Times that Simmons raped them between 1988 and 2014. And performer Sherri Hines told the Los Angeles Times that Simmons raped her around 1983.
In addition, four more women have alleged inappropriate sexual behavior against Simmons. Actress Natashia Williams-Blach told the LA Times that the music mogul and reality TV star attempted to force her to perform oral sex, but she managed to extricate herself from the situation.
Massage therapist Erin Beattie alleged that while giving Simmons a massage at a Seattle hotel in 2005, he exposed himself and made lewd sexual comments. Two former employees at yoga studio Tantris also described a sexually charged and tense atmosphere at the studio, where Simmons frequently attended class and oversaw programs, and alleged that he used his position of power to pursue women at the studio.
“I have re-dedicated myself to spiritual learning, healing and working on behalf of the communities to which I have devoted my life,” Simmons said in a statement to The New York Times on Wednesday. “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.”
Dixon told the NYT Simmons regularly sexually harassed her while she worked as an executive at Simmons’ Def Jam Records in 1995. She told the Times that Simmons would make sexually graphic comments to her on work calls and exposed himself, behavior that eventually led to him raping her in his Manhattan apartment.
Baker alleged Simmons raped her in the early ’90s when he was her manager. She told the NYT that when Simmons agreed to work with her, the label paid more attention to her and her budget increased, but after the assault, she said, “I went into oblivion.”
Sallie was a music journalist for the trade magazine Black Radio Exclusive when she met Simmons while on assignment in 1987. She said they dated a few times, but she decided they weren’t a good match. She said they remained cordial, and he invited her to a party at his apartment that he said he was holding for his girlfriend, but when she arrived, the apartment was empty except for Simmons. She said he led her to his bedroom, pushed her on the bed, jumped on top of her and “physically attacked me.” She fought him and said no, but he raped her, she said.
The latest accusations follow those by screenwriter Jenny Lumet who, in a guest column for THR, alleged in graphic detail that Simmons sexually assaulted her in 1991. Simmons had been named previously in an alleged assault against former model Keri Claussen Khalighi that also involved his longtime friend Brett Ratner. Lumet came forward with her story after Simmons denied Khalighi’s accusation.
Simmons announced last month he was stepping away from his companies amid the accusations.