Russell Simmons Accused of Rape or Sexual Misconduct by Nine More Women

Several of the women claim the Def Jam exec sexually assaulted them
Russell Simmons Accused of Rape or Sexual Misconduct by Nine More Women
Last month, Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons announced that he was stepping down from his companies following sexual assault allegations. Now, more women have come forward to accuse the mogul of sexual misconduct.

In addition to the two women who spoke out last month, four women have spoken to the New York Times about Simmons' alleged offences. Three of them have accused Simmons of rape, while another woman says that Simmons lured her to his hotel room and groped her.

The purported incidents took place between 1988 and 2014. All of the women offered harrowing details to the Times; in each case, the paper spoke with friends and associates of the women, who confirmed that they were told of the incidents close to the time they happened.

One of Simmons accusers, former Def Jam exec Drew Dixon, threatened to sue Simmons for sexual harassment and settled out of court for $30,000 in 1997.

The other women include former pop singer Tina Baker, journalist Toni Sallie and Christina Moore.

The Times spoke with Simmons about the specific accusations detailed here and he said, "I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual. I have enormous respect for the women's movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power."

Read the Times' full story here.

UPDATE (12/13, 10:30 p.m. EST): Shortly after the NYT report, the Los Angeles Times published another report regarding Simmons' alleged sexual misconduct. Disturbingly, it includes allegations from five more women. These include actress Natashia Williams-Blach, a massage therapist named Erin Beattie, rapper Sherri Hines, a woman named Lisa Kirk, and comedian and Insecure star Amanda Seales. You can read that story here.

Previously, model Keri Claussen Khalighi accused Simmons and director Brett Ratner of sexual assaulting her in 1991. Simmons was quick to deny the claims, but screenwriter Jenny Lumet then came forward to say that Simmons had assaulted her, also in 1991. That led to Simmons announcing plans to withdraw from his companies and pledging to "commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening."

UPDATE (12/14, 4:45 p.m. EST): Following this new wave of allegations, Simmons has issued another statement defending his innocence. It reads, "Today, I begin to properly defend myself. I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges. Today, I will focus on 'The Original Sin' (Keri Claussen), the claim that created this insane pile on of my #MeToo. Stay tuned! We'll share information today… And tomorrow the case of Jenny Lumet. My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in anyway, but instead hold my accusers accountable. #NotMe Again, this is not a movement against or even in conjunction with #Metoo . It's just a statement about my innocence."