Russell Simmons denies sexually assaulting model when she was 17

Monday, November 20, 2017

Russell Simmons is denying accusations that he sexually assaulted a model when she was 17.

Keri Claussen Khalighi claims Simmons made "sexual advances" at her during a dinner at Mr. Chow in New York back in 1991. Khalighi told the Los Angeles Times that after going back to Simmons' apartment, the music mogul "coerced her to perform oral sex."

Khalighi, now 43, also claimed in the newspaper that last year she ran into Simmons at Soho House in West Hollywood. She claimed Simmons "poured his heart out in a really touching, remorseful apology" for his alleged behavior.

"He knew what he had done; I knew what he had done," she told the Los Angeles Times. "That's also why it was so vindicating, because it was there, acknowledged."

Simmons said in a statement to ABC News that what happened between him and Khalighi was consensual.

"I completely and unequivocally deny the horrendous allegations of non-consensual sex against me with every fiber of my being," he said. "I know Keri Claussen Khalighi and remember the weekend in 1991 that she has referenced. Everything that happened between us 26 years ago was completely consensual and with Keri's full participation.

"We spent time in my apartment over a period of two days and one night, as well as at some public places including Nell's Nightclub. Much of the time we were in the presence of other acquaintances. I'm deeply saddened and truly shocked to learn of Keri's assertions as to what happened over the course of that weekend," the statement continued.

"Let me be crystal clear and very direct," Simmons said in a lengthy statement. "Abusing women in any way shape or form violates the very core of my being. I have always spoken out regarding my life experiences, women's issues and the need to bring a faster and more decisive shift in the collective consciousness that will help bring about true women's equality. More than anything, I want my daughters to live in a more equal world and a world where they will not become victims of sexual harassment."

Simmons has two teenage daughters with model, Kimora Lee Simmons.

ABC News reached out to Khalighi, but she declined to comment further.

The Los Angeles Times also reported that Tanya Reid claimed Simmons sexually intimidated her back in 1994 while the two were in Miami.

In response, Simmons said in a statement, "The LA Times article also references an allegation by Ms. Tanya Reid. I mean no disrespect to her at all when I say I honestly do not recall my telephone conversation with a hotel front desk clerk from over a quarter-century ago."

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