Music mogul Russell Simmons has denied allegations of sexual misconduct made by five women in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday (13Dec17).
The Def Jam Recordings co-founder recently stepped down from his companies after former model Keri Claussen Khalighi and screenwriter Jenny Lumet accused him of sexual assault in November (17).
On Wednesday, the New York Times published accounts from four women, three of which accused Simmons of rape, while the Los Angeles Times published stories by five other women, who have accused him of sexual misconduct.
Sherri Hines, also known as Sheri Sher, from hip-hop group Mercedes Ladies, alleged that Simmons raped her in his office around 1983, while Lisa Kirk said he followed her into the women's restroom at a nightclub in New York around 1988, pushed her into a stall and began to take out his penis, but he ran out of the bathroom after she caught his eye.
Actress Natashia Williams-Blach, who appeared in a Simmons-produced film, How to Be a Player, said Simmons tried to force her to perform oral sex on him after they went to a yoga class in 1996, massage therapist Erin Beattie alleged he exposed himself and asked her to touch his penis while she was giving him a massage in his hotel room, and Insecure actress Amanda Seales said he used vulgar language to ask if they ever had sex during a meeting in 2016.
The music mogul has vehemently denied all the claims in the story in a statement, which reads, "These new stories range from the patently untrue to frivolous and hurtful claims... I want to restate categorically what I have said previously: I have never been violent or abusive to any women in any way at any time in my entire life."
He also posted a note on Instagram, which read, "I have never had a sexual encounter that was not consensual or lawful. Ever." He shared his full statement, in which he said he was devastated by the claims which have "shocked me to my core".
"What I will not accept is responsibility for what I have not done," he wrote. "I will relentlessly fight against any untruthful character assassination that paints me as a man of violence."