Just hours after Russell Simmons took to social media to declare his innocence in multiple sexual assault allegations, the New York Police Department has publicly revealed they are “reviewing information” on the matter. However, Big Apple law enforcement sources tell Deadline that a formal investigation into the hip-hop mogul’s actions is almost a near certainty at this point.
“In this environment, Special Victims Unit detectives are in the process of starting a formal investigation,” said one well placed individual of the nearly a dozen women that have come forward with allegations against Simmons. “There are several claims with similar circumstances against Mr. Simmons and officers will want to talk to the victims as soon as they can,” the insider added.
Officially, the boys in blue are simply saying that they are just looking at the claims right now. “The NYPD has received information regarding allegations involving Russell Simmons in the NYC area and our detectives are in the process of reviewing that information,” Sgt. Brendan Ryan told Deadline on Thursday.
“Russell Simmons fully supports and will cooperate with the police inquiry and is confident of a swift resolution,” a spokesperson for the ex-RUSH Communications CEO said today.
Earlier Thursday, Simmons wrote on Instagram that he “will prove without any doubt” that the rape allegations are unfounded. “Today, I begin to properly defend myself,” he started his post with, adding in a #NOTME. The hashtag is a clear swipe at the #MeToo designation that many many women have taken to using in the last two months since the New York Time broke its expose of the decades of allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein on October 5.
The disgraced producer is currently under investigation by the NYPD for sexual assault and could see at least one case picked up by the Manhattan D.A. Among other alleged victims, Boardwalk Empire alum Paz de la Huerta has sat down with the cops in New York on several occasions to detail her claims that Weinstein former raped her twice in late 2010. On November 3, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told a press conference that he believed the police have “an actual case here.” As of over a month later, that case has not gotten the sign off from D.A. Cyrus R. Vance Jr.’s team.