Russell Simmons Says Rape Allegations ‘Ruined His Life’ & Relationships w/ People Despite Taking 9 Lie Detector Tests To Prove His Innocence: ‘I’ve Been Insensitive, But Certainly, I’ve Never Been Forceful’
Russell Simmons continues to shoot down claims that he’s violated several women throughout his decades-long career.
It’s been six years since the groundbreaking sexual assault rumors against hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons went haywire in the press, and he’s still deeming himself not guilty.
In a recent interview, Russell Simmons spoke on the inappropriate misconduct that he was accused of in 2017 and how the allegations impacted his life.
When addressing the reported behavior, the Def Jam Recordings co-founder agreed that although he was “frivolous” in his intimate interactions (back in the day), everything was “consensual.”
He said of the almost two dozen women who have come forward with assault claims,
“I spoke poorly to fifteen of them–I mean, twelve of them. I spoke poorly, all the time. I’m a Def Comedy Jam guy. I was crude. So, how many compromising situations was I in?”
The 66-year-old continued, challenging the validity of the victims’ recounts:
“If you call that person and say, ‘Can you help me help these other women?’ then you can get them to tell a story and re-imagine a story. And I’m not here to say what they were thinking, but I can simply tell you that I was in so many compromising situations that people can have a recollection from thirty or forty years ago and it can be different from my recollection. And it could be one way that was, perhaps, collaboration.”
“We had more foursomes than most guys had onesomes. Could someone leave and feel hurt? Could someone leave and feel they wished they hadn’t? Could someone re-imagine a story out of thousands of people? Could someone want notoriety in a market where people thirst for fame? Even infamous. Could someone who just came out of jail and want to sue you because they had an experience and they can re-imagine it just a little bit different? And could you be vulnerable enough to accept it?”
Following his statements, the renowned businessman confessed that he’d taken a whopping total of nine polygraphs to prove his innocence.
“I took nine lie detector tests. People don’t know that. Nine, separate [tests]. Seven from the chairman of the [American] Polygraph Association.”
“Three hours per test, by two polygraph examiners. One that I’ve never done this to anyone and one I’ve never done to each individual. Some people say that they’re not accurate, but if they’re ninety-four percent accurate, [and] I did nine of them, they’re pretty clear that I don’t believe it.”
After being asked why he felt the media didn’t offer much coverage about his results, Simmons expressed,
“We don’t want to go backward; we want to believe women. But women and celebrities–maybe, in some cases–are a little different. But we don’t want to not believe women. We have to believe women. We have to give them the benefit of the doubt, but we can’t demonize people without proof either. Twitter cannot make a decision. I’ve never spoken to a policeman, I’ve never spoken to a judge about anything.”
Further in the conversation, the New York City native (seemingly) clarified his stance on actions sometimes being misinterpreted.
He told the interviewer:
“No one’s intentionally hurt anybody; it’s a big difference. No one’s pushed anybody. Being pushy is different from pushing someone. It’s very gray.”
Simmons then delved into the importance of #MeToo culture (a social movement constructed to raise awareness for women who’ve undergone sexual abuse/harassment) and how the lines are blurred.
“[Rape] is a serious word, but I think they’ve changed the meaning of it. ‘Cause I’ve never been violent to anybody. Rape is a violent crime, so it is a very serious [word]. Somebody jumped out of the bushes and raped somebody is different, I think.”
“Of course, I’ve been insensitive, but certainly, I’ve never been forceful in any of my relationships. All of which I’ve had have been consensual.”
Nearing conclusion, when speaking on what he would’ve “done differently” at the time, he acknowledged,
“We all need to learn to be better listeners–all of us. I think that the culture and the climate was different, and the way people interacted was different. And I think [to] judge forty years ago as if it was today, we’d get in trouble. We have to accept where we were and move on and be somewhere else in the future if we don’t like where we were. And I think that we’re doing that now, and I think that’s the good that comes from #MeToo.”
Since 2017, eighteen women have (reportedly) accused Simmons of assault in many forms, including model Keri Claussen Khalighi who claimed the record executive raped her at the tender age of 17 in 1991.
Khalighi’s allegation retrieved worldwide attention (with film director Brett Ratner named as one of the outside parties who were present for the alleged encounter), prompting numerous professional downfalls for Simmons.
Additionally, actor/comedienne Amanda Seales, writer Sil Lai Abrams, and reality star Luann de Lesseps were among the victims Simmons was said to have raped/harassed.
See the full interview here:
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