6th woman alleges rape by Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons
LOS ANGELES: A woman said in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that Russell Simmons raped her at his Los Angeles home in 2016, joining five other women who have publicly leveled rape allegations against the music mogul.
Simmons, a co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, denied the newest allegations as he did the previous ones.
The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court and seeks $5 million in damages, says Jennifer Jarosik went to Simmons’ home in August 2016 for a meeting about a documentary she was making and Simmons had agreed to help produce.
The suit says he tried to have sex with her at the meeting. He raped her when she refused, throwing her on the bed and at one point knocking her on the floor, the suit said.
Simmons said in a statement that the allegations in the suit are “absolutely untrue.”
“I look forward to having my day in court — where, unlike the court of public opinion, I will have the ability to make use of fair processes that ensure that justice will be done and that the full truth will be known,” Simmons said in a statement.
He did not address the specific claims in Jarosik’s lawsuit, saying, “I will not litigate this matter in the media.”
But in the lengthy statement he says that the allegations of women against him range “from the patently untrue to the frivolous and hurtful.”
“These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual,” Simmons said.
Three women told the New York Times in a story published in December that Simmons had raped them in the 1980s or 1990s, including an executive who answered to Simmons at his record label, Def Jam Recordings.
Two other women, a model and a screenwriter, previously alleged that Simmons raped them in 1991.
Jarosik had told friends about the rape but did not go public or call authorities because she partly blamed herself for not having the strength to fight him off, the suit said.
Jarosik, 37, said she was prompted to come forward after hearing other women’s stories about Simmons.
The women’s stories came in a cascade of serious allegations of sexual misconduct against powerful men in entertainment, media, politics and elsewhere.
Simmons, whose company Def Jam made stars of hip-hop artists such as LL Cool J, Slick Rick, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, is one of the few music industry icons caught up in the recent wave of allegations that so-far has struck mostly those in the movie industry, journalism and politics.
“The music industry and the hip-hop industry have a history of misogyny and the exploitation of women,” Jarosik’s attorney Perry Wander told The Associated Press. “It’s time that they faced the music.”