Deny, deny, deny.
Russell Simmons is vehement he’s innocent as a new lawsuit adds to the hip-hop mogul’s mounting legal troubles. As you may’ve seen, the 60-year-old has been sued by Jennifer Jarosik for $5 million for allegedly raping her on two occasions.
Although this is just the latest sexual misconduct claim brought against the New York native, he is maintaining his innocence and has called Jarosik’s allegation “absolutely untrue.” In a lengthy statement to E! News, Russell stated:
“This allegation is absolutely untrue. I look forward to having my day in court├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥where, unlike the court of public opinion, I will have the ability to make use of fair processes that ensure that justice will be done and that the full truth will be known. In the meantime, please understand that I will not litigate this matter in the media. I am confident that when all is said and all is done, it will be as clear to others as it is to me that I did not do what this lawsuit accuses me of doing.”
In regards to the other rape and assault claims he’s currently facing, Simmons continued:
“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. The current allegations 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.'”
And, despite the many women who’ve accused him of misconduct, the businessman has defended that all of his liaisons have been consensual. He added:
“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…
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.”
On top of his denial, Russell has stepped down from all his companies and closed his Hollywood Yoga center.
Nonetheless, Jennifer is standing by her accusation as it’s said she’s filing reports against Simmons in both New York and Los Angeles. Per The Blast, Jarosik’s legal team have confirmed that Jennifer is heading to New York to file a claim with the NYPD over an alleged rape which took place at the industry vet’s Big Apple residence in 2011.
She will then file a report with the LAPD over the 2016 rape that allegedly took place at Russell’s Tinseltown pad. Apparently, following the lawsuit filing, Russell texted Jennifer:
To which she replied:
And it appears that Jennifer’s lawyer Perry Wander is ready for a fight, as he dished:
“If Russell really wants to go to trial on his case, He will face all of his accusers as prior acts of sexual assault and victims are relevant evidence in this case… This will be similar to the Dr. Nassar case where victims will get their day in court to describe the interactions with him.”
Man, oh man. In an additional statement, Wander called out the “hip hop industry” for causing a “deep rooted history of misogyny and discrimination against women.”
We are getting two VERY DIFFERENT pictures of the type of man Russell is. We hope the truth comes out sooner rather than later…
[Image via WENN.]