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Russell Simmons denies alleged sexual assault allegations

Brett Ratner and Russell Simmons 
Sexual harassment claims are at an all-time high in Hollywood with Harvey Weinsten, Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Spacey, Ben Affleck, and many more stars recently being accused. 

The Weinstein scandal has sparked a national conversation about sexual misconduct and prompted alleged victims to come forward with accusations ranging from groping to rape against prominent men.

Now, Brett Ratner and Russell Simmons have been accused of working together to assault and harass women, according to a new report in the Los Angeles Times.

The Times had previously reported that six women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, had come forward with allegations of misconduct against Ratner, and the new report alleges that Simmons, his mentor, has worked with the director and producer to carry out inappropriate behavior.

Keri Claussen Khalighi, a then-17-year-old model, alleged that she met Ratner — who was a music video director at the time — and Simmons in 1991 at a casting call. Simmons was 34 years old at the time. After dinner one night, the pair allegedly took her back to Simmon’s apartment to ostensibly look at a music video.

According to Khalighi, Simmons began to make aggressive sexual advances towards her, tearing off her clothes.

“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 alleges that Simmons then tried to force her to have intercourse, which she fought off until he relented and coerced her into performing oral sex. Khalighi told the Times that Ratner sat and watched. 

Russell released a statement about the allegations on his Instagram page earlier today (Nov. 19). He denies having non-consensual sex with Khalighi and says everything that happened between them was completely consensual:

"Wake up to struggle. The yogi learns to smile and breathe in every pose. The long weekend in question 26 years ago had many witnesses, the L.A. Times never used some of the their signed written statements that she spent the night, had lunch with, and went to clubs with multiple witnesses and even stayed in my apartment when I wasn’t there, all after alleged incident. I provided 3 witness statements, maybe they could have been used in the article?," Simmons wrote in his caption underneath his statement in response to the Los Angeles Times' article. 


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