RAP mogul Russell Simmons has been accused of rape and sexual harassment by three women, according to reports. "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", Simmons said in a statement to the New York Times on Wednesday.
Simmons, 60, who cofounded the legendary Def Jam Records label, stepped down from all his companies last month after two women accused him of forcing them into having sex with him.
Def Jam employee Drew Dixon and music journalist Toni Sallie also told the paper similar stories about alleged incidents in 1995 and 1987 respectively.More news: Man with knife shot by police at Amsterdam airport
"The NYPD has received information regarding allegations involving Russell Simmons in the NYC area and our detectives are in the process of reviewing that information", NY police Sergeant Brendan Ryan said in an email to Reuters.
Simmons followed that post with one of an image showing a hashtag - #NOTME - in response to the #MeToo hashtag that helped propel awareness and reports of sexual harassment this fall.
But The New York Times article described an alleged pattern of predatory behaviour by the influential Def Jam Recordings co-founder. "I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges", Simmons said in an Instagram post capped off with a "#NotMe" hashtag.More news: Alert : New York blast was 'attempted terrorist : mayor
In his statement responding to the accusations, Simmons said he had already apologized for "instances of thoughtlessness" in his consensual relationships, and had separated himself from his businesses and charities so as not to be a distraction. At the time she was a freshman at UCLA, and she says that Simmons tried forcing her to perform oral sex on him after they took a yoga class. My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in anyway, but instead hold my accusers accountable. "I am a supporter of the #MeToo campaign and the victims who were previously terrified to stand up and speak out against sexual misconduct". She said he led her to his bedroom, pushed her on the bed, jumped on top of her and "physically attacked me". She said they remained cordial, and he invited her to a party at his apartment that he said he was holding for his girlfriend, but when she arrived, the apartment was empty except for Simmons.
Over and over, the women said they had waited so many years to come forward out of fear of retaliation, particularly given Simmons' position atop a vast empire of production, fashion, and lifestyle business ventures.
"Our detectives are in the process of reviewing that information", Trainor said in a statement. "I will relentlessly fight against any untruthful character assassination that paints me as a man of violence".More news: Wreaths Across America Wreath-laying at Northern California Veterans Cemetery in Igo
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".