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Russell Simmons Accused of Rape by Former Music Video Producer in New Lawsuit: Report

Russell Simmons Accused of Rape by Former Employee in New Lawsuit
Russell Simmons. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

A former music video producer has accused Russell Simmons of rape in a new lawsuit.

According to court documents obtained by Variety on Tuesday, February 13, an unnamed woman alleged that Simmons, now 66, raped her while she worked for Def Jam Recordings in the 90s. In the docs, Jane Doe claimed that she went to Simmons’ home to get his approval on a cut of a music video that she was working on at the time. While in his home, the woman alleged Simmons pinned her down on his bed.

“Ms. Doe rejected his advance and told him to ‘get off’ and ‘stop’ several times,” the filing read. “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.”

This isn’t the first time Simmons has been accused of sexual misconduct. Over the years, many have come forward with allegations against him including W.W. Norton’s granddaughter, Alexia Norton Jones. After Jones came forward in July 2018, Simmons denied the allegations.

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According to the new lawsuit, the accusations shared by other women inspired her to come forward as well.

“When Ms. Doe learned about the accounts of the other survivors, she was struck by how similar they were to her own horrible experience at the hands of Mr. Simmons,” the filing read.

Jane Doe also accused Simmons of sexually harassing her at work. She claimed that the producer would close her office door behind him and would lean over her while making sexual innuendos. She stated that the alleged assault “forever changed” her and she suffered from dissociation, depression and anxiety.

Russell Simmons Accused of Rape by Former Employee in New Lawsuit
Russell Simmons. Amy Graves/WireImage

While the assault incident occurred in the 90s, the woman claimed she had a run-in with Simmons in March 2023 while at a yoga studio, per the docs. She was startled when Simmons called her name and she asked him if it was alright to practice next to him. The woman claimed that Simmons responded to her by saying, “Of course. What, do you think I’m gonna try and f–k you?”

“Ms. Doe was horrified,” the docs stated. “She realized not only was he unapologetic towards her personally, he did not appreciate that the assault was wrong.”

Since 2017, Simmons has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women. After being accused by screenwriter Jenny Lumet, Simmons addressed the allegations and stepped down from his multiple businesses.

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“While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize,” Simmons said in a November 2017 statement to Us Weekly. “This is a time of great transition. The voices of the voiceless, those who have been hurt or shamed, deserve and need to be heard.”

He continued: “As the corridors of power inevitably make way for a new generation, I don’t want to be a distraction so I am removing myself from the businesses that I founded. The companies will now be run by a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives who are moving the culture and consciousness forward. I will convert the studio for yogic science into a not-for-profit center of learning and healing. As for me, I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.”

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