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Russell Simmons Sued for Alleged Rape

Photo: Bennett Raglin/WireImage/Getty Images

Russell Simmons is being sued by a former music executive who claims that he raped her while she was employed at Def Jam Recordings in the ’90s, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The woman, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, alleges that Simmons raped her at his apartment after she had come over to get approval on the rough cut of a music video.

According to the suit, filed on Tuesday in New York’s Southern District, Simmons brought Doe into his bedroom to watch the music video, at which point he “began jumping on the bed while continuing to make sexual advances and asking Ms. Doe to have sex with him.” When Doe declined, Simmons allegedly performed a “wrestling move,” “climbing on top of [her] and pinning her arms down on the bed.” Doe claims that he proceeded to rape her, despite her having told him to “get off” and “stop.”

According to the suit, shortly after the alleged incident, Jane Doe left Def Jam. In the years following her leaving the company, Doe says she experienced “debilitating anxiety” and had “difficulty handling emotions in a professional setting.”

In her suit, Doe claims that she saw Simmons at a yoga class around March of last year — decades after the alleged rape took place. She says that she inadvertently put her mat down next to his, and when she asked if it was okay to practice next to him, Simmons replied, “Of course. What, do you think I’m gonna try and fuck you?”

Doe is not the first woman to come forward about Simmons. In 2017, Simmons was accused of sexual assault by four women, three of whom alleged rape. Since then, at least 20 women have accused the music mogul of sexual impropriety.

While Simmons has not yet commented on the new suit, he has spoken on the allegations against him recently. In December, he went on a podcast in which he claimed that he had taken nine lie-detector tests and that he had only ever been “insensitive,” not violent.

Doe’s lawsuit claims that it was filed under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which allows for victims who were abused as adults to sue their alleged abusers without regard for the statute of limitations. However, the act expired last November, so it’s unclear whether or not the suit can proceed under it. Doe also filed her suit under the Gender Motivated Violence Act, which allows survivors of gender-motivated violence to file complaints up until March of 2025. Doe is seeking damages for loss of employment, loss of business opportunities, and loss of wages, and compensation for the injuries she suffered.

We’ve reached out to Simmons’s representatives for comment and will update this post when we hear back.

Russell Simmons Sued for Alleged Rape