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Russell Simmons denies rape allegations


Russell Simmons denies rape allegations made by three women

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WATCH Russell Simmons, Tavis Smiley face sexual misconduct allegations

    Russell Simmons, the founder of hip-hop music label Def Jam Recordings and CEO of Rush Communications, has denied claims from four women who say he sexually harassed them, including three who accused him of rape.

    The allegations surfaced in a new report by The New York Times.

    "I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual," Simmons said in a statement to ABC News.

    In the Times story, Drew Dixon, a former Def Jam employee, accused Simmons of talking to her sexually, asking her to sit on his lap, exposing himself to her and raping her.

    Another woman, music journalist Toni Sallie, accused Simmons of raping her at his apartment in 1988.

    Tina Baker, who released pop and dance records in the 1980s as Tina B, accused Simmons of raping her in the early 1990s after she met him at a club and agreed to go to his apartment.

    A fourth woman, Christina Moore, claimed Simmons groped her in a Miami hotel room in 2014 before she and a friend hurriedly left, according to the report.

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    In his lengthy statement, Simmons said, "The current allegations sent to me by the New York Times range from the patently untrue to the frivolous and hurtful."

    Simmons also claimed that he has recently been the subject of extortion attempts over false claims of sexual harassment.

    Last month, Simmons announced he was stepping down from his companies following a published accusation of sexual assault against him by screenwriter Jenny Lumet.

    In a statement at the time, Simmons said that his recollection of events was "very different from mine," but "it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real."

    "While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize," he added in the statement.

    In his statement Wednesday, Simmons said, "I have already apologized for the instances of thoughtlessness in my consensual relations. I have separated myself from my businesses and charities in order to not become a distraction."

    He added, "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."

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