All of Hollywood seems to be tumbling down as highly-publicized rape and sexual harassment claims are at an all-time high. Beginning with #HarveyWeinstein and trickling down to actors like #KevinSpacey and #SylvesterStallone, the alleged victims seem to be finding strength in telling their stories.
A new woman named #KeriKhalighi has come forward with allegations against #RussellSimmons and video director #BrettRatner. Earlier this morning, the #LATimes published her story in which she alleged that over 26 years ago, Simmons made “aggressive sexual advances” at her and had been “yanking off her clothes” before penetrating her while she was in the shower at his home. She claims that she was 17 years old—the legal age of consent in New York—when this all happened and that it was without her consent. Khalighi also alleges that Ratner sat close by and watched the aforementioned acts and that he did not react to her cries for help.
While Simmons denies the allegations, he tells The Shade Room that he worries about how the allegations might affect his relationships with his daughters and how they might view him. As a long-time activist and supporter of the #MeToo campaign—which was started to denounce sexual assault and harassment in the wake of Harvey Weinstein scandal—Simmons says that he has always “applauded the strength of the brave men and women who have spoken out over the past month and made their voices heard regarding sexual assault and harassment.” The only difference with this situation as that he alleges it is false.
Russell Simmons has provided The Shade Room with three witness statements which were provided to the LA Times, but never added. In them, there are a couple discrepancies between the witnesses statements and those of Miss Khalighi as far as her claims of being forced or coerced into performing certain sexual acts and her claims of going to Mr. Chow with Simmons which he also denies. You may view them below:
In a written statement Simmons denies the claims. “I completely and unequivocally deny the horrendous allegations of non-consensual sex against me with every fiber of my being,” he says.
Simmons continues, “I know Keri Claussen Khalighi and remember the weekend in 1991 that she has referenced. Everything that happened between us 26 years ago was completely consensual and with Keri’s full participation. We spent time in my apartment over a period of two days and one night, as well as at some public places including Nell’s Nightclub. Much of the time we were in the presence of other acquaintances. I’m deeply saddened and truly shocked to learn of Keri’s assertions as to what happened over the course of that weekend.”
“Let me be crystal clear and very direct. Abusing women in any way shape or form violates the very core of my being. I have always spoken out regarding my life experiences, women’s issues and the need to bring a faster and more decisive shift in the collective consciousness that will help bring about true women’s equality. 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.”
In the LA Times article, there is also a reference of an allegation against Russell Simmons by a woman named Tanya Reid. In response to that, Simmons says, “I mean no disrespect to her at all when I say I honestly do not recall my telephone conversation with a hotel front desk clerk from over a quarter-century ago.”
Ratner told the LA Times that he had “no recollection” of Khalighi asking for help.
TSR STAFF: Talia O. @theclosetratchet on IG, @tallyohhh on Twitter