Russell Simmons is facing a lawsuit from a documentary filmmaker who claims that he raped her at his home in 2016.
Jennifer Jarosik alleges that the hip-hop mogul invited her to his house on Doheny Drive in Los Angeles and then asked her to have sex. When she said no, he became aggressive and pushed her onto his bed, she says in the suit, which is expected to be filed on Thursday.
“Plaintiff tried to force Defendant to stay away from her and in doing so, Defendant knocked Plaintiff off his bed, and Plaintiff hit her head and then Defendant pounced on her while she was still in shock and fear, and proceeded to rape her,” the lawsuit alleges.
Simmons stepped down from his business last year as allegations of sexual misconduct began to surface. He has been accused of rape or sexual harassment by numerous women, though he has adamantly denied those claims. His spokesman issued a statement on Wednesday denying the latest rape charge.
“This allegation is absolutely untrue,” Simmons said in the statement. “I look forward to having my day in court — where, unlike the court of public opinion, I will have the ability to make use of fair processes that ensure that justice will be done and that the full truth will be known.”
Jarosik says she first met Simmons in 2006, and they shared an interest in yoga and meditation. She says he offered to finance and co-produce a documentary that she was working on. She says that after the rape, a decade later, she only told a few close friends and partially blamed herself for failing to fight Simmons off.
She is seeking at least $5 million in damages.
In his statement, Simmons stressed that he has “respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power.”
“In recent weeks, some former business, creative and romantic partners have aired grievances as claims I categorically reject. In some of these instances, financial motives and direct contradictory witness testimony has been supplied to the media, which has been completely left out of stories. The current allegations range from the patently untrue to the frivolous and hurtful. The presumption of innocent until proven guilty must not be replaced by ‘Guilty by Accusation.'”
“I have accepted that I can and should get dirt on my sleeves if it means witnessing the birth of a new consciousness about women,” he said. “What I will not accept is responsibility for what I have not done. I have conducted my life with a message of peace and love. Although I have been candid about how I have lived in books and interviews detailing my flaws, I will relentlessly fight against any untruthful character assassination that paints me as a man of violence.”