/Former Def Jam Executive Sues Russell Simmons For Alleged Rape

Former Def Jam Executive Sues Russell Simmons For Alleged Rape

Another woman has accused disgraced hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of rape.

The Def Jam Recordings founder was sued Tuesday in New York federal court by a woman identified as Jane Doe, who claims Simmons sexually assaulted her at his New York City apartment in the 1990s when she was “a senior level music executive” at the label.

The filing alleges that Doe visited the apartment to get Simmons’ approval on a new music video. She claims Simmons started to “wrestle” with her “in an attempt to appear playful” before things “escalated into aggression.”

“Ms. Doe rejected his advance and told him to ‘get off’ and ‘stop’ several times,” the lawsuit states. “She told him she was ‘serious’ and she ‘meant it.’ But Ms. Doe was forcefully pinned, could not move under his weight and Mr. Simmons would not listen to her.”

“Simmons ignored Ms. Doe’s resistance and proceeded to rape her,” the filing says.

The suit alleges that this “assaultive behavior” derailed the plaintiff’s career, and that her day-to-day work at Def Jam — “a job she loved” — was now marred by “panic attacks, depression and anxiety.” Doe also says she endured repeated harassment from Simmons at work.

“He would sit on her desk, lean over her, aggressively invading her personal space while making sexual innuendos, suggestions and advances, and rubbing the front of his pants,” the complaint, which was brought by attorneys Kenya Davis and Sigrid McCawley, reads.

Doe quit her job at Def Jam in 1997 as a result, the suit says.

Simmons is being sued for sexual battery/assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment. He’s been accused of sexual assault or misconduct at least 20 times since 2017, and was the subject of HBO’s 2020 documentary “On the Record.”

Russell Simmons stepped down as the head of Def Jam Recordings in 2017.
Russell Simmons stepped down as the head of Def Jam Recordings in 2017.

Richard Shotwell/Invision/Associated Press

The suit is one of many recently filed under New York’s Adult Survivors Act against various music executives. The Act grants adults who allegedly survived sexual abuse in the state a one-year “lookback window” to file claims that would have otherwise expired under statues of limitations.

The HBO documentary included an interview with Drew Dixon, a former A&R executive at Def Jam who claimed Simmons raped her at his New York apartment. It was only one of the many sexual assault accusations Simmons has denied.

Simmons reportedly denied model Keri Claussen Khalighi’s claim “completely and unequivocally” in 2017 that he “coerced her to perform oral sex” on him when she was 17 years old. Last year, Simmons’ daughter described her father as angry and combative to the point where it has damaged their relationship, and said he “is not well” and “needs help.”

Representatives for Simmons did not immediately reply to HuffPost’s request for comment.

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