In The Midst Of His Own Sexual Assault Allegations, Russell Simmons Tells Terry Crews To Give His Assailant “A Pass.”
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I remember feeling a bit saddened by the fact that Russell Simmons’ and Kimora Lee Simmons’ marriage didn’t work out. But years later, when I learned that he met her when she was 17-years-old and he was 35. They married years later but it was just unsettling.
That fact returned to the forefront of my mind when I learned that Simmons had been accused of sexually assaulting another young woman.
In 1991, a year before he met Kimora, Simmons took up with another 17-year-old model Keri Claussen Khalighi.
But the relationship between Simmons and Khalighi didn’t end up in a marriage like it did with Kimora. Instead, according to Khalighi, she was violated.
The Los Angeles Times, reports that Khalighi said she met Simmons and director Brett Ratner at a casting call.
They took her to dinner at Mr. Chow in New York before they went back to Simmons’ apartment where they said they were going to show her a music video they had been working on. Khalighi said that Simmons began making aggressive sexual advances, eventually yanking her clothes off.
“I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face,” she recalled. “In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.”
She said that Simmons tried to force her to have intercourse. “I fought it wildly.” Eventually, he gave up on the intercourse plot and instead forced her to perform oral sex. “I guess I just acquiesced.”
Ratner, she said, “just sat there and watched.”
Afterward, Khalighi said she felt disgusted and went to take a shower. Minutes later, she claimed Simmons came in behind her in the shower and penetrated her without her consent. She said she jerked away then he left. “It hurt so much.”
In a statement, Simmons’ attorney Martin Singer said, “Everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation,” he said. Much of the two days and one night he spent with her, he said, was with other people, or in public. Ratner had “no recollection” of Khalighi asking him for help and denied witnessing her “protest.”
Ratner has also been accused of assaulting four other women. Furthermore, Simmons himself has acknowledged that Ratner ingratiated himself with him and his company by providing him access to models.
In his book, Do You!: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success, Simmons wrote about Ratner, “He was willing to do anything to be of use. After he hung around a bit and figured out that I liked models, then he made it his business to take me to every model’s apartment he could find.”
A 35-year-old man pursuing 17-year-old girls is disturbing if it was consensual and illegal and morally bereft if their sexual encounters were not.
What makes the story surrounding Simmons so disturbing is his response to another assault survivor, Terry Crews.
The actor shared an email Simmons sent him regarding the assault he experienced from a Hollywood agent.
Terry said it best. No one gets a pass.