Two Russell Simmons Accusers Discuss 'Impetus' to Speak Out & Recount Feeling 'Cheapened' by Mogul

Sherri Hines and Natashia Williams-Blach recounted their alleged encounters with Russell Simmons, who is currently the subject of an NYPD investigation

Actress Natashia Williams-Blach and musician Sherri Hines are speaking out about what led them to go public with their allegations of sexual misconduct against Russell Simmons.

Both Williams-Blach and Hines — who are among the 13 women who have accused Simmons of sexual misconduct over the past month — appeared on Megyn Kelly Today on Tuesday.

Williams-Blach said she was pushed to share her story after reading Simmons’ denial of the mounting sexual assault allegations, in which he mentioned his “spirituality.”

“That was the main impetus to come forward because I followed this story when it emerged, and I wasn’t going to actually say anything at all,” said the actress. “I was going to stay on the sidelined and just kinda watch this unraveling.”

She continued, “He said, ‘How can I be a rapist when I’m a yogi and a vegan?’… There is a lot of good actions, good meaning and intentions but they become dirty by what he’s done in the darkness.”

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Echoed Hines, “I don’t know the man [Simmons] is now… What I say is, if you are spiritual and into the yoga and meditation then part of that — everybody makes mistakes in life, that’s just how it goes… if you hurt people during their journey, I think it would be in your best interest to just come real, and let it out.”

Williams-Blach, who appeared in How to Be a Player (produced by Simmons), previously told the Los Angeles Times the producer attempted to force her to perform oral sex in his house after taking her to a yoga class in 1996. She was 18 at the time and removed herself from the situation after telling him she had to go to study hall at UCLA, where she was a student, she told the outlet.

She told Kelly, Tuesday, “When something like that happens you do, you feel cheapened.”

“If I could see that 18-year-old girl today, of course, I would reassure her that it was not her fault,” Wiliams-Blach said, adding, “but I think this culture is, up until this point now — we were just talking about timing — so much encourages this behavior and it’s transactional and it has to do with women sometimes anticipating things to a point where, if it happens, ‘Oh it feels horrible but you know, I was the pink bikini girl in the movie or I’m modeling and I’m wearing this outfit and it’s sort of presented in a sexualized way’… it just lends itself to that mentality.”

In a previous statement to PEOPLE, Simmons, 60, “vehemently” denied all the allegations, saying that all his “relations have been consensual” and the “horrific accusations have shocked me to my core.”

“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. In recent weeks, some former business, creative and romantic partners have aired grievances as claims I categorically reject … The current allegations sent to me by the New York Times and Los Angeles Times range from the patently untrue to the frivolous and hurtful. The presumption of innocent until proven guilty must not be replaced by ‘Guilty by Accusation,'” he said.

“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. 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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Hines — who was part of the hip-hop group Mercedes Ladies — also first revealed her alleged encounter with Simmons in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. She alleged Simmons raped her in his office around 1983 after running into him at a nightclub in New York.

According to Hines, she was 17- or 18-years-old at the time and was “pinned” down by Simmons inside his office on his couch. “I was trying to fight him and he had his way. I left crying,” she told the outlet.

RELATED VIDEO: Russell Simmons Accused of Rape by Three Women: Report

Hines reportedly told a friend that same day about the alleged rape and also confided in her sister the same year. In her 2008 novel Mercedes Ladies, the main character Shelly Shel undergoes a similar experience with a powerful businessman named Ron.

“When he finished, I ran out of there and I left. I was crying… I just couldn’t believe I was just violated like that,” Hines told Kelly. “And more so that I felt embarrassed, I felt used, worthless and why I use those words, is because Russell knew how Mercedes Ladies, we went up against an all-male arena… He came to my home, and he met my mom, who was a single mom who had 10 kids she was raising… so for him to do this.”

Hines confirmed that she had been contacted by the NYPD in relation to their investigation into Simmons but hadn’t yet spoken to them. Williams-Blach said she was not contacted.

Simmons previously told PEOPLE in a statement that he ”fully supports and will cooperate with the police inquiry and is confident of a swift resolution.”

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