Russell Simmons' camp responds to Sil Lai Abrams' story.
Thursday (June 28), The Hollywood Reporter published an article detailing author and journalist Sil Lai Abrams’ allegations of sexual abuse against Russell Simmons and A.J. Calloway, respectively. In her account, Abrams asserts that in 1994, Simmons raped her and in 2006, Calloway sexually assaulted her.
In the article, it is revealed that Abrams attempted to come forward with the stories sooner with MSNBC and New York Magazine, but could never get a green light on a full feature with Abrams saying that MSNBC host Joy Reid accused her employer of "slow walking the story with stupid requests.”
Previously, MSNBC and Joy Reid released statements clarifying that a lack of enough evidence to compile a final story meant that they could not move forward with Abrams’ account.
“I began working with Sil Lai Abrams last November on a story about her allegations of sexual assault against two prominent men,” said Reid. “I pitched the story to New York Magazine because she preferred a print outlet, and they expressed interest. In mid-December, I pitched the story to MSNBC for the first time […] I had agreed to Sil Lai’s request that both accused men be included in any final story - not just one or the other […] It was important to her that she tell her full narrative. Ultimately this meant we needed to verify two separate allegations of sexual assault, not just one. Our team at MSNBC was far along in our reporting on the allegations against one of the accused men, but unable to confirm significant aspects of the claims related to the second man. This meant that we could not report on either man.”
While a representative for Calloway told THR that the allegations were false, Simmons’ own team had long denied any rape and the alleged conversation that took place between between Abrams and the music mogul years later. Now, Simmons’ attorney Patricia Glaser has come forward, asserting that Abrams’ encounter with Russell Simmons in 1994 was consensual and has been verified as such under oath.
“The Hollywood Reporter published an article despite material facts and witness statements shared with them that contradict Ms. Abrams’ account, all of which were omitted from the story,” says Glaser. “These documents include a declaration, sworn under oath, by someone who spoke with Ms. Abrams the day after her sexual encounter with Mr. Simmons and described it as consensual. Ms. Abrams’ account of the evening in her own book also contradicts multiple accusations printed by The Hollywood Reporter. After reporting on Ms. Abrams’ account for nearly a year, including the examination of all the facts, MSNBC and New York magazine declined to pursue the story. NBC said its news department had enlisted seasoned investigative journalists to assist Reid and that certain aspects of the story did not meet its standards. It's disappointing, to say the least, that THR didn’t adhere to the same standards.”
Read the original story here.