Fact-check: Russell Simmons claims he doesn’t have bodyguards. Really?; Update: Simmons gets defensive, fans sling mud at Michelle Malkin

In response to criticism that he has armed bodyguards while crusading for a crackdown on guns, rap mogul Russell Simmons tweeted tonight that he doesn’t have “body guards.” He’s been on quite the anti-gun tear:

So is it really true that Simmons doesn’t have bodyguards? Years of past media coverage of Simmons out and about indicate otherwise.

Here’s Simmons on MTV Cribs a few years back introducing the audience to the “head of security” — a “Brother Muhammad” — at one of his lavish estates:

body2

There’s a second bodyguard at the door as well.

Watch the video:

Check out the photo and report here from last October, when Simmons and rapper Kanye West ventured into an Occupy camp in NYC (emphasis added):

Eyewitnesses described West and Simmons sitting down and talking with protesters around 2:00 pm, with their bodyguards in tow. Ben Fallah, a protester at the Occupy Wall Street site, tells Billboard, “Largely I felt the response was pretty mixed. Some felt [West and Simmons] were being opportunistic as a means to vault their own celebrity. Though in the case of Kanye West, I don’t really think that’s necessary.” (Billboard)

And this is from a February 2011 visit by Simmons to Seattle:

The Seattle Public Library’s Microsoft Lecture Hall had a different feel to it on February 24th.  The large amphitheater style room was packed with an unusually raucous and excited crowd.  People were joking, laughing, telling stories and sharing secrets all because of the speaker that was sequestered in a back room surrounded by beefy bodyguards, Russell Simmons.

And here’s another first-person account of Simmons’s bodyguard from author and speaker Ressurrection Graves from February 2011:

While people were standing in line for Russell Simmons, I realized that they were fans. It sounds really silly to point out now. Some people may have been there to try to get record deals, however his big, dark-skinned, straight-forward bodyguard made it abundantly clear that people should not try to get record deals. He said, “We know you all have great ideas.” It was hilarious!

Here’s a photo of his bodyguard standing close by for the book-signing with author and speaker Ressurection Graves in the foreground:

body

And here’s an account from Allure magazine:

Aroma Journey, $130
1901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
305-695-3292

We didn’t run into Leo or P. Diddy in the Shore Club Hotel’s Cubist lobby. In the spa, however, we did meet Russell Simmons’s bodyguard as he was perusing a menu of treatments. “[Russell] told me to come to the spa and just chill,” he explained as he debated between a body polish and the Aromatherapy Body Treatment.

And here’s a 2008 article from The Economist magazine:

Mr Simmons is not your typical financier, which may be why his business is growing even as the mainstream banking system melts down. Best known as the “godfather of hip-hop”, he made his first fortune as co-founder of Def Jam records, guiding the careers of artists such as Run DMC, the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and Jay-Z. The company was sold to Universal Music for $100m. He made a second fortune in fashion, ultimately selling his Phat Farm “urban apparel” business (mantra: “Classic American Flava”) for $140m in 2004. His sprawling Rush conglomerate, headquartered on the 43rd floor of a Manhattan skyscraper and guarded by a huge but seemingly amiable bodyguard, also features jewellery (big diamonds a speciality), running shoes and energy drinks.

And here’s YouTube video of Simmons’s bodyguards working an event in Texas in 2009:

We’re not the only ones calling bull on Simmons’s claim:

Update:

The ugly truth is evidently a little too ugly for Simmons:

Gee, condescending much? Malkin knew he was just getting defensive:

Too bad he doesn’t have a bodyguard to help mask his insecurity.

Simmons’ fans rallied to his defense but failed to disprove Twitchy’s fact check:

Others saw right through Simmons:

When in doubt, fling mud. Works every time.

Namaste!

* * *

He’s still going on about it:

blog comments powered by Disqus