Russell Simmons Accused of Rape by Three Women: Report

The entrepreneur and music producer has been accused of rape by three women who previously worked with him

Entrepreneur and music producer Russell Simmons has been accused of rape by three women, according to the New York Times.

Drew Dixon, Tina Baker and Toni Sallie — who were inspired to come forward in the aftermath of the ongoing sexual misconduct scandals surrounding Hollywood — all accused Simmons, 60, of rape.

Their allegations follow two other women coming forward last month and accusing the Def Jam co-founder of sexual harassment.

“I vehemently deny all these allegations,” Simmons, who sold his stake in Def Jam for a reported $100 million in 1999, said in a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday.”These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual. I have enormous respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power. I have re-dedicated myself to spiritual learning, healing and working on behalf of the communities to which I have devoted my life. I have accepted that I can and should get dirt on my sleeves if it means witnessing the birth of a new consciousness about women.”

He added, “What I will not accept is responsibility for what I have not done. I have conducted my life with a message of peace and love. Although I have been candid about how I have lived in books and interviews detailing my flaws, I will relentlessly fight against any untruthful character assassination that paints me as a man of violence.”

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Dixon, then 24, says she first met Simmons while working as an executive producer at Def Jam Recordings. Simmons, who lived nearby, ran into Dixon after she had left a local bar, and offered to call her a ride from his apartment, she tells the publication.

Once she entered the apartment, Dixon claims Simmons made sexual advances and she says she remembered “realizing I was cornered.” She then allegedly told Simmons that she had just had a gynecological procedure and could not have sex in a bid to stop his advances. He told her he didn’t care, she says, “and I just blacked out.”

“The last thing I remember was him pinning me down to kiss me on the bed,” she tells the NYT, and says the next thing she recalled was being in Simmons’s hot tub, both of them naked.

Before the incident, Dixon claims Simmons expressed a pattern of inappropriate behavior in the workplace.

According to the NYT, on work calls, he would talk graphically about how she aroused him, asked her to sit on his lap during a staff meeting, and regularly exposed his erect penis to her. Additionally, she alleges he would close the door to her office and expose himself, leading her to give a copy of her key to a male co-worker.

“I was like: ‘If I ever buzz you, don’t pick up, don’t call me back — just open my door,'” she says. “That means Russell is in here and he whipped his [penis].'”

“I was broken,” she tells the NYT.

And Simmons wasn’t the only business mogul she was harassed by; Dixon named L.A. Reid as someone who constantly expressed sexual advances towards her. In a statement to the NYT, Reid did not address the specific claims but apologized by saying, “I’m proud of my track record promoting, supporting and uplifting women at every company I’ve ever run. That notwithstanding, if I have ever said anything capable of being misinterpreted, I apologize unreservedly.”

Tina Baker, a singer who had performed as a backup vocalist for Madonna and Bruce Springsteen, also accused Simmons of raping her.

The singer alleges that she went to the mogul’s apartment in either 1990 or 1991 to discuss her career but “it all got really ugly, pretty fast,”. She tells the publication she recalled “him on top of me, pushing me down and him saying, ‘Don’t fight me.’”

After being pinned to the bed, Baker says she did “nothing.” “I shut my eyes and waited for it to end,” she adds.

Toni Sallie, a music journalist for the trade magazine Black Radio Exclusive, says Simmons raped her in the fall of 1988. Sallie says she was invited to a party at his house but no one else was there when she arrived.

“He pushed me on the bed and jumped on top of me, and physically attacked me,” she says. “We were fighting. I said, ‘No.’” Simmons then raped her, she alleges.

Sallie says encountered Simmons a year later at a music conference in South Florida where she claims he tried to lead her to a dark beach. When she resisted, he attacked her, grabbing her by the hair and chasing her into the women’s restroom before she escaped to her room, where she barricaded the door.

Following the reports of alleged misconduct by Mr. Simmons in November, Ms. Sallie says she contacted the Manhattan district attorney’s office to accuse him.

A law enforcement official confirmed to the NYT, that a woman contacted the DA’s office to report an incident from 1988 and added that a different anonymous woman had recently reported an incident from 1991. It is not clear who was the woman who made the complaint regarding an alleged 1991 incident. The statute of limitations have lapsed for both complaints.

Last month, Simmons announced that he was stepping down from the companies under his Rush Communications Inc. including Def Digital, Def Pictures and yoga business Tantris after Rachel Getting Married screenwriter Jenny Lumet, 50, penned a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter in November claiming Simmons assaulted her in 1991.

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Simmons was quick to respond to the allegations in a statement to THR.

“I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991. I know Jenny and her family and have seen her several times over the years since the evening she described. While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real. While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize.”

Additionally, former model Keri Claussen Khalighi claimed she was 17 years old when Simmons forced her into having sex – while his friend, Brett Ratner watched, according to the LA Times.

“I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face,” she recalled. “In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.” She added, Ratner “just sat there and watched.”

Simmons acknowledged having sex with Khalighi, but denied it was not consensual.

“Everything that happened between us 26 years ago was completely consensual and with Keri’s full participation,” Simmons said in a statement on social media. “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.”

Ratner’s attorney, Marty Singer, told LA Times saying his client has “no recollection” of any requests for help by Khalighi.

Reps for Simmons and Def Jam did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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