The entertainment world was shocked when music mogul Russell Simmons (pictured) was first accused of rape in 2017.
By July 2018, Simmons, 61, stood accused of raping 18 different women, according to People Magazine. These violent, sex-related allegations date back to the 1980s. One woman (identified as Jane Doe) has filed a $10 million dollar lawsuit against Simmons.
In this formal complaint, the woman says the Def Jam Recordings co-founder invited her to his hotel. The unnamed woman had just attended a rap and hip-hop concert with her son. In her lawsuit, the woman claims she was then raped by Simmons.
In addition to being sexually assaulted by Simmons, the anonymous woman claims the music producer threatened her son.
In a detailed article published on July 10, 2018, People Magazine gave a complete list of the women who accused Simmons of raping them. The alleged stories described in each case are absolutely horrendous and paint Simmons as a monster.
However, the successful entrepreneur issued a statement to People Magazine, which in part, reads as follows:
“I am blessed to have shared extraordinary relationships, whether through work or love, with many great women; and I have enormous respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power. I am devastated by any reason I may have given to anyone to say or think of me in the ways that are currently being described.”
Since then, Simmons has left the United States and is living in Bali, Indonesia. He has flown to the U.S. and back to Indonesia to appear at family-related events. Simmons also travels back and forth to attend to other private matters.
One of his accusers says Simmons left the U.S. out of fear. She says he is trying to avoid extradition in the event a criminal case materializes. However, in a new interview published on Saturday (June 29), Simmons maintains his innocence.
“A question I hear is, ‘Are you living in Bali? Are you coming back to America?’ I have been living mostly in Bali where I have been writing my book. It’s finished and I’m editing it now. Anyway, I’m always back and forth,” Simmons told HipHopDx.
“I returned to Los Angeles and New York City at least six times in the last year or so. I was just there for [my daughter’s] graduation,” he continued.
Though two multi-million dollar lawsuits have been filed, Simmons has not yet been criminally charged with rape. However, the Def Comedy Jam producer still talked about the devastation he felt after learning about the allegations from decades ago.
“The stories from the 80 and 90s are unrecognizable to me. I have admitted to being unconscious, insensitive and unintentionally callous at times, but I cannot admit to sexual violence,” Simmons also told the popular hip-hop blog.
“I have never been violent to a woman or a man in my whole adult life. I have taken a total of 10 lie detector tests to prove this,” he proclaimed.
Simmons went on to explain how internally channeling his faith has helped him deal with the negativity of his legal situations.
“I have very different recollections than these accusers. I will not call them liars and get into the mud. I have this example of the right way to go,” Simmons also said.
“When the Buddha was faced with things he believed were untrue, he would respond, ‘Is that so?’ I want to be like the Buddha. That’s the best I can offer,” he added.