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Russell Simmons accused of sexual assault by more women
Russell Simmons accused of sexual assault by more women avatar

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More women have come forward to accuse music producer Russell Simmons of sexual assault and harassment.

The New York Times has reported the stories of three women who have accused him of raping them between 1988-2014.

And the Los Angeles Times has posted accounts from a further five women, including one allegation of rape.

The Def Jam Records co-founder stepped down from his companies in November. He said he "vehemently denies all these allegations".

He added: "These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual."

The New York Times article carried accusations of rape by former Def Jam employee Drew Dixon, former music journalist Toni Sallie and singer Tina Baker, who was managed by Simmons at the time.

In the Los Angeles Times, performer Sherri Hines accused him of raping her in his office around 1983.

The paper also quoted actress Natashia Williams-Blach as saying he tried to force her to perform oral sex, while massage therapist Erin Beattie claimed he exposed himself to her.

Comedian Amanda Seales told the paper he had made inappropriate comments about sex, while Karen Russell, a former manager at his yoga company Tantris, spoke about allegations of harassment.

The first report about Simmons came out in mid-November, when the Los Angeles Times reported that model Keri Claussen Khalighi had accused Simmons of sexual assault and harassment.

Simmons responded by saying his relationship with Khalighi was entirely consensual and that he had proof from three witnesses.

Later that month, screenwriter Jenny Lumet accused him of sexual misconduct. He said her memory of the evening in question in 1991 was "very different from mine".

'Patently untrue'

In light of the new allegations, Simmons has published a fresh denial.

"Some former business, creative and romantic partners have aired grievances as claims I categorically reject," he said.

"In some of these instances, financial motives and direct contradictory witness testimony has been supplied to the media, which has been completely left out of stories.

"In the last few days, one woman attempted to extort me for $500,000 only to recant her ridiculous claim.

"The current allegations sent to me by the New York Times range from the patently untrue to the frivolous and hurtful."

Simmons also reaffirmed his earlier statement about stepping down from his companies, saying he has "re-dedicated myself to spiritual learning, healing and working on behalf of communities to which I have devoted my life".

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