Everything We Know About Russell Simmons\'s Sexual Assault Scandal
2016 Milken Institute Global Conference
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Celebrity Scandals

Everything We Know About Russell Simmons’s Sexual Assault Scandal


UPDATE (12/4/17 at 10:07 a.m. ET):

Another actress is coming forward with a not-so-favorable story about Russell Simmons.

Two women went public last week, saying the media mogul sexually assaulted them over twenty years ago. Eventually, the Def Jam CEO stepped down as a result.

Now, Amanda Searles says he acted inappropriately towards her, too.


Though the comedienne's encounter with Russell wasn't physical, she claims he once asked her during a business meeting if they "f—ked"

In the lengthy caption, she explains why it takes her (and so many other women) so long to come forward to share their tales, and why they shouldn't be afraid to do so.

We are officially inspired.

For more on the allegations against Russell and the future of his businesses, keep clicking through.

Original story (12/1/17 at 11:30 a.m. ET):

It's hard to keep track of all the latest sexual assault allegations floating around Hollywood these days, as tragic as that is to accept.

But lately, Russell Simmons has dominating the headlines, as two women have come forward saying he sexually assaulted them over twenty years ago.

Here are all the latest details on Rush's scandal, from the allegations themselves to what this means for his numerous businesses from here on out.

It all began on November 19 when model Keri Claussen Khalighi detailed in a Los Angeles Times piece an unwanted sexual experience she had with Russell in 1991, when she was just 17.

She claims she met the mogul and filmmaker Brett Ratner at a casting call, and later, Russell forced her to perform oral sex on him and even penetrated her from behind while Brett watched on.

The 60-year-old denied the allegations in a statement, saying "I completely and unequivocally deny the horrendous allegations of non-consensual sex against me with every fiber of my being."

He also admitted he did remember his encounter with Keri, but that it was completely "consensual and with Keri's full participation."

However, Keri later said Russell apologized to her privately over a decade later at a party, and seemed remorseful for what went down that night. So what's the real story here?

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Regardless, less than two weeks after Keri's story made headlines, another woman, writer Jenny Lumet, retold her sexual harrassment experience with Russell to The Hollywood Reporter.

The detailed essay essentially says Jenny met Uncle Rush at a party, also in 1991, and he eventually forced her to engage with him in sexual acts in a taxi, and then later at his hotel.

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But rather than totally denying these allegations, the dad of three has apologized for his actions — and voluntarily stepped down from his role at Def Jam simultaneously.

“I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991. I know Jenny and her family and have seen her several times over the years since the evening she described," he said in a statement.

"While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real. 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." 

A post shared by Russell Simmons (@unclerush) on

He continued, "... 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."

And though stepping down from Def Jam was Russell's doing, he's also been removed from his latest project with HBO, All Def Comedy, as these revelations have come to light.

“HBO will be airing All Def Comedy as planned,” an HBO spokesperson said of the All Def Digital-produced special, which will premiere tonight, December 1, as planned.

“However, Russell Simmons will not appear in the new series and we will be removing his name from the show moving forward.  The series is a platform for promising and upcoming comedians and we do not want to deprive them of an opportunity to showcase their talents to a national audience.  We have no other projects with Russell Simmons.”

Celebs are also condemning Russ for his actions, including his friend, Terry Crews, and actress Olivia Wilde.

Stay tuned to Wetpaint for more as this tragic story develops.