Def Jam mogul Russell Simmons was recently accused of sexual assault and harassment by model Keri Claussen Khalighi, who was just 17 when the incident allegedly occurred:
Khalighi said that Simmons, who was then about twice her age, tried to force her to have intercourse. “I fought it wildly,” she said. He eventually relented and coerced her to perform oral sex, she alleged. “I guess I just acquiesced.”
[Brett] Ratner, meanwhile, “just sat there and watched,” she said.
Feeling “disgusting,” Khalighi said she went to take a shower. Minutes later, she alleged, Simmons walked up behind her in the shower and briefly penetrated her without her consent. She said she jerked away, then he left. “It hurt so much.”
When the allegations came out, Simmons, for his part, denied any wrongdoing:
In a statement, Simmons, 60, strongly disputed her account. “Everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation,” he said. Much of the two days and one night he spent with her, he said, was with other people, or in public. Ratner had “no recollection” of Khalighi asking him for help and denied witnessing her “protest,” his attorney Martin Singer said.
But he’s had a few days to think about it, and he organized his thoughts into a letter to the Hollywood Reporter:
Simmons: "I have made choices that have offended some of the women in my life. It’s not cool to be a playboy and a new consciousness understands this" https://t.co/wOR3lDttxS
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) November 22, 2017
Here’s how his letter concludes:
I have made choices that have offended some of the women in my life. It’s not cool to be a playboy and a new consciousness understands this. Now, as I hear these voices, I do as well. Though never abusive in any way, my remarks were often cavalier and thoughtless, and for this I am humbled. I am a work in progress. I am human. The fact that I come from the world of music or a specific place or generation justifies nothing.
That has been an ongoing deep transition in my life. As a yogi I believe intent is very important. My intent always came from a joyful, playful place. I can sleep at night because I know who I am. And I know who I was. I never committed any acts of aggression or violence in my life. I would never knowingly cause fear or harm to anyone. For any women from my past who I may have offended, I sincerely apologize. I am still evolving.
As the dialogue progresses, let’s not lose sight of what’s truly happening, a shift in power and all that entails. I want that shift. It must lead to a space where women and also men can heal, even if it means attacking me. I remain an activist for women’s rights and all things unjust. This is my life’s work and journey, and God knows my heart. To all the #MeToo campaigns and women around the world, I support your healing and will continue to be an honest and imperfect advocate for the voiceless (including animals) and humanity as a whole.
If you ladies could just stop being offended, he could focus on his new consciousness and his yoga moves.
We have a winner for the least apologetic "apology" yet https://t.co/djBXwjDDxw
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) November 22, 2017
"I'm sorry that people don't like my horrible actions."
— Joe Notya (@JNotya) November 22, 2017
“As a yogi…” Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200"
— aadip (@aadip) November 22, 2017
lol shameless totally shameless
— Walter (@MovieDweller) November 22, 2017
Russel Simmons always tries to act like he is this deep thinker but he is just full of bullshit right here.
— whatever (@thedenogginize) November 22, 2017
"It's not cool to be a playboy." Huh? Is "playboy" a euphemism for "rapist"?
— Phillip Crawford Jr. (@philcrawfordjr) November 22, 2017
"A new consciousness understands this"
— jane doe (@justjudee) November 22, 2017
Your honour, you don't understand. It was my old consciousness.
— moistlotus (@moistlotus) November 22, 2017
The "don't hate the player, hate the game" apology.
— G. Scott Shand (@GScottShand) November 22, 2017
A new consciousness = because I got caught
— TheSchlokReviewer (@KieranDavenpor1) November 22, 2017