Russell Simmons is the latest entertainment industry insider to be accused of sexual misconduct.
The hip-hop mogul is now under fire after being accused of sexually assaulting a 17 year old model back in 1991, while his friend Brett Ratner watched.
He has also issued a statement proclaiming his innocence.
The allegations, which were first reported in the Los Angeles Times, include details of an incident between Simmons and model Keri Claussen Khalighi, who was 17-year-old at the time of the encounter.
Khalighi says she met Russell Simmons and Brett Ratner at a casting call and the pair forced her into an intimate situation.
Ratner was an up-and-coming music video director and a protege of Simmons, the Def Jam Recordings mogul. They took Khalighi to dinner one night in 1991 at Mr. Chow in New York, and then back to Simmons’ apartment to show her a music video they’d been working on.
Quickly, Simmons began making aggressive sexual advances, yanking off her clothes, Khalighi said.
“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.” (READ MORE)
The LATimes also notes that a second woman, Tanya Reid, claims she had a similar encounter with Ratner and Simmons in 1994.
Reid, an aspiring young model said she crossed paths with the duo at a hotel in South Beach where she worked at the front desk. She was 18 at the time.
Ratner was staying at the hotel while he was filming a music video featuring a coterie of beautiful models.
Simmons was also staying at the hotel, and, Reid said, the two men repeatedly called the front desk asking to speak to her.
Simmons even personally asked her to bring him a toothbrush, but she deflected, saying a bellman would handle it.
“I remember this very, very clearly, the exact words he said on the phone.
He wanted me to come upstairs so Brett could hold me down and he could [perform oral sex],” Reid said.
Reid then details an encounter where Ratner invited her up to his hotel room as she was leaving work and enticed her with dreams of becoming one of the models in his video.
Ratner asked if she wanted to be one of them, Reid recalled. She gave him her phone number. A couple of days later, he stopped by her apartment, a few blocks from the hotel. Not long after they sat down on her living room sofa, he exposed himself, put her hand on his crotch and asked for oral sex, she said.
Reid, who was an 18-year-old virgin at the time, said she asked if they could just kiss. He then allegedly used his hand to push her head to his groin. Eventually, she said she gave in. Ratner left immediately after, and she never heard from him again.
For the record, Ratner and Simmons have both denied the allegations.
Simmons also released the following statement via twitter in response: