Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee Simmons’ Daughter Aoki, 16, Accepted Into Harvard ‘on Her Own Merit’


A Hollywood heiress just got into Harvard University’s Class of 2023 — no SAT score doctoring or Photoshop work involved! Aoki Lee Simmons, daughter of Kimora Lee Simmons and Russell Simmons, was accepted to the prestigious institution at age 16.

Kimora, 43, shared the news on Instagram on Thursday, March 28, posting a video of son Kenzo Lee Hounsou, 9, reading his big sister’s acceptance letter.

“Yaaayyyyy @aokileesimmons!!” Kimora wrote in the caption of the post. “She’s on her way to #Harvard!! We are sooo super proud of YOU!! Such hard work and only 16! You did it! It took years of super dedication and lots of tears! But HERE YOU ARE!!! GO GIRL!!! Enjoy the journey! We are excited to see the great things you will do! Sorry I’m one of those SUPERLOUD MAMAS! She also got into Dartmouth, Vassar, Barnard etc! Woooo! #BeautyAndBrains!😍🎉❤️🙏🏼💃🏻”

The model cried happy tears over the news in an Instagram Stories video she posted later that day. “I’m still crying and beaming,” she said, as Aoki jumped for joy nearby. “You don’t understand. This has been a ride for me. I’m two out of two kids in college. I have two boys left, I don’t know if I can do it.”

Russell Simmons Kimora Lee Daughter Aoki Lee Simmons Harvard
Aoki Lee Simmons and Russell Simmons attend the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation Art For Life Benefit at Fairview Farms on July 15, 2017 in Water Mill, New York. Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

She then referenced the alleged college admissions scam, in which Full House alum Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 to have their daughters designated as USC crew recruits. “Quite honestly she really did it on her own merit and we’re so really proud because Aoki can’t row or anything like that,” Kimora said in the clip. “There was really no hope for us in that area. So I’m just so proud you did it on your own, Aoki, and I’m crying. I’ve had it. I don’t even drink, and I want a drink.”

She continued: “Praise, praise, praise the Lord. I would just like to say, Aoki’s only 16 years old, so remember that class of — what was it, honey? — 2023. Aoki’s only 16, honey. Coming with that heat!”

Russell Simmons Kimora Lee Daughter Aoki Lee Simmons Harvard
Ming Lee Simmons, Aoki Lee Simmons, Kimora Lee Simmons and Russell Simmons at Olympus Fashion Week Spring 2007 in New York City. Johnny Nunez/WireImage.com

Russell, 61, also raved about the news on Instagram on Thursday. “So blessed @aokileesimmons made it into HARVARD and Kimora, Myself or Tim [Leissner, Kimora’s husband] didn’t have to pull any strings or pay anyone to get her in 😂,” the record exec wrote. “She made it on her own academic merit … Aoki lee you are source of pride and inspiration to me, your whole family and the whole world at large.”

Kimora and Russell, who were married from 1998 to 2009, are also the parents of daughter Ming Lee, 19. Kimora shares Kenzo with ex Djimon Hounsou. She and Leissner, whom she married in 2013, are the parents of 3-year-old son Wolf Lee.

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