- Kevin Winter/Getty
- Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has been accused of sexual misconduct, and the allegations involve filmmaker Brett Ratner.
- Model Keri Claussen Khalighi told The Los Angeles Times in a report Sunday that in 1991, when she was 17, Simmons sexually assaulted her.
- Another woman, Tanya Reid, alleged that Simmons asked her to give Ratner oral sex, and that Ratner later forced her to perform oral sex.
Russell Simmons, the hip-hop mogul who cofounded Def Jam Recordings, has been accused of sexual misconduct along with film producer and director Brett Ratner, his former protégé.
Model Keri Claussen Khalighi told the The Los Angeles Times in a report published Sunday that in 1991, when she was 17, Simmons and Ratner invited her to Simmon’s apartment to watch a music video they had been working on. She said that Simmons tore off her clothes and attempted to force her to have sex.
“I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face,” she told the Times. “In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.”
She said of Simmons’ advances that she “fought it wildly” before she eventually “acquiesced” to performing oral sex.
Khalighi said she then went to take a shower, feeling “disgusting.” She said that Simmons then walked up behind her in the shower and, according to the Times, “briefly penetrated her without her consent.” She said that Simmons left the shower after she jerked away from him.
Simmons denied the allegations to the Times and disputed Khalighi’s account.
“Everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation,” he said.
Simmons later wrote the following statement on his website in response to the Times’ story:
“I completely and unequivocally deny the horrendous allegations of nonconsensual sex against me with every fiber of my being. … More than anything, I want my daughters to live in a more equal world and a world where they will not become victims of sexual harassment.”
Through his attorney, Ratner told the Times that he had “no recollection” of Khalighi asking for help and denied witnessing her “protest.” Ratner has been accused of sexual harassment or assault by numerous actors, including Olivia Munn and Ellen Page.
Another woman, Tanya Reid, told the Times that she had an encounter with the men in 1994, when she was 18. She said that Simmons and Ratner were staying at a hotel where she worked at the front desk, and that Simmons called her and and asked her to have oral sex with Ratner.
She said that in a later encounter in Ratner’s hotel room, Ratner forced her to give him oral sex. She said the experience ruined her image of the modeling industry and led her to give up her dreams of a career as a model.
Simmons and Ratner both told the Times that they did not recall the alleged incident.
Simmons and Ratner did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.