Simmons has denied the allegation in a statement.
Keri Claussen Khalighi has accused Russell Simmons of sexually assaulting her at age 17 while Brett Ratner was present. According to an article published by the L.A. Times Sunday, Khalighi says she met Simmons and Ratner at a casting call when she was working as a model in 1991. At the time, Ratner was something of a protege to Simmons as he entered the world of music video directing. Khalighi claims that the two men took her to dinner in New York before inviting her to Simmons' apartment to show her a music video they were working on. When she arrived, she says Simmons made "aggressive sexual advances" towards her, and was "yanking" off her clothes. When she looked to Ratner for help, she says he did not intervene: “In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.”
Khalighi goes on to state that Simmons attempted to force her to have intercourse, which she "fought wildly." He then coerced her to perform oral sex, she says: "I guess I just acquiesced." At this time, she says Ratner "just sat there and watched." When Khalighi took a shower because she felt "disgusting," Simmons penetrated her without her consent from behind, she says: "It hurt so much."
Simmons has disputed Khalighi's claims in a statement published in the same L.A. Times story, as well as in a more detailed response posted to Twitter. “I know Keri Claussen Khalighi and remember the weekend in 1991 that she has referenced,” he wrote. “Everything that happened between us 26 years ago was completely consensual and with Keri’s full participation. Let me be crystal clear and very direct. Abusing women in any way shape or form violates the very core of my being. I have always spoken out regarding my life experiences, women’s issues and the need to bring a faster and more decisive shift in the collective consciousness that will help bring about true women’s equality.”
Ratner's attorney, Marty Singer, says his client has "no recollection" of Khalili requesting for help. Six women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, accused Ratner of sexual misconduct in an L.A. Times article published earlier this month.
Tanya Reid, who was an 18-year-old aspiring model in 1994, has also accused Simmons and Ratner of sexual misconduct. She says Simmons called her while she was working at the front desk of a hotel. “I remember this very, very clearly, the exact words he said on the phone. He wanted me to come upstairs so Brett could hold me down and he could [perform oral sex].” She says that Ratner asked if she wanted to be a model in a music video, and she gave him her phone number. He later came to her apartment and asked for oral sex while in the living room. When she asked if they could just kiss, he "allegedly used his hand to push her head to his groin. Eventually, she said she gave in." Ratner's attorney says that the director does not recall Reid or the alleged incident in question. In Simmons' statement, he addresses the phone call allegation: “I mean no disrespect to her when I say I do not recall a conversation with a hotel front desk clerk over a quarter of a century ago.”
Read Russell Simmons' full statement below.