Kimora Lee and Russell Simmons' 16-Year-Old Daughter Aoki Accepted Into Harvard 'on Her Own Merit'
Both Simmons and her daughter announced the news on Instagram Thursday
Kimora Lee Simmons‘ daughter is going to Harvard!
“Yaaaayyyyy @aokileesimmons!! She’s on her way to #Harvard!! We are so proud of YOU!! Such hard work and only 16! You did it! It took years of super dedication and lots of tears! But HERE YOU ARE!!! GO GIRL!!!” Kimora captioned the clip, which shows Aoki flashing a wide smile as she takes in the news.
“Enjoy the journey! We are excited to see the great things you will do! Sorry I’m one of those SUPERLOUD MAMAS! She also got into Dartmouth, Vassar, Barnard etc! Woooo! 😍🎉❤️🙏🏼💃🏻,” Kimora added.
Kimora also shared a video from the moment Aoki learned the news on her Instagram Stories.
“She got into Harvard,” Kimora says excitedly in the first clip.
“I’m still crying and beaming,” Kimora says in another video before turning the camera to show Aoki, who can be seen jumping for joy. “You don’t understand this has been a ride for me. I’m two out of two kids in college. I have two boys left, I don’t know if I can do it… Quite honestly she really did it on her own merit and we’re so really proud.”
“Yoki can’t row or anything like that. There was really no hope for us in that area. I’m just so proud that you did it on your own… Praise the Lord,” Kimora says in the video, taking a jab at the recent college admissions scandal allegedly involving Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.
Loughlin specifically is accused of paying $500,000 to an admissions fixer to say Olivia and her sister Isabella were part of the rowing team when that was not true — which was what Kimora was alluding to.
Of course, Aoki shared the big news on her own Instagram account.
“I’m only 16 and I’m going to Harvard baby!” Aoki captioned a clip, which shows herself hysterically crying after reading her acceptance.
Kimora’s husband Tim Leissner can be seen sweetly patting Aoki on the back as Kimora screams “Yay” loudly in the background.
“Thank you so much to every single person who helped me along the way. I am excited and honored and so so grateful,” Aoki wrote adding “#Harvard2023.”
Proud dad Russell, 61, also shared the news. “So blessed @aokileesimmons made it into HARVARD and Kimora, Myself or Tim didn’t have to pull any strings or pay anyone to get her in 😂she made it on her own academic merit,” Russell wrote on Instagram.
“Aoki lee you are [a] source of pride and inspiration to me, your family and the whole world at large as you know… and should always remember. We love you unconditionally whether you have ‘success or failure’ in the world… you will ALWAYS be very successful in the most important category… because you are [a] compassionate, loving spirit who will always have God your family and your extended families love,” Russell said.
Russell and Kimora are also parents to daughter Ming Lee, 19. Kimora and her husband Leissner are parents to Wolf Lee and the fashion designer is also mom to son Kenzo whom she shares with ex Djimon Hounsou.
The news of Aoki’s new chapter comes just a couple weeks after Kimora made a big announcement of her own — Baby Phat is coming back.
The former model, who launched the brand in 1999, revealed it will be relaunched this summer.
“It’s the rebirth of my baby,” she told PEOPLE, after delivering the keynote address announcing the news at the UN Women and the Gender Innovation Coalition for Change event celebrating the new “She Innovates” campaign on International Women’s Day.
The brand had originally launched as a subsidiary of then-husband Russell Simmons’ Phat Fashions line. Thanks to some signature pieces — like the line’s signature baby tee featuring the Baby Phat rhinestone cat and a pink tufted flip phone — and major celebrity endorsements (from Britney Spears, Alicia Keys and more), it became a popular line of the aughts.