Russell Simmons Accused of Sexually Assaulting Former Employee in New Lawsuit

LOS ANGELES - DEC 3: Russell Simmons at the 2023 MusiCares Persons of the Year at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 3, 2023 in Los Angeles, CA — Photo by Jean_Nelson/Deposit Photos)

Def Jam Recordings co-founder Russell Simmons has been accused of rape in a new federal lawsuit filed by a woman who alleges she was attacked while working as an executive at the music label in 1990s.

The woman, identified only as Jane Doe, filed the lawsuit on Tuesday, Feb. 13, in U.S. District Court in  the Southern District of New York.

According to the Los Angeles Times, which obtained a copy of the complaint, the document alleges the woman was “sexually harassed, assaulted, sexually battered, and raped” by Simmons when she worked at the record company.

“Ms. Doe’s career in the music industry was disrupted and derailed by a devastating experience at the hands of Mr. Simmons,” the suit says.

According to Doe, Simmons frequently held business meetings with employees at his apartment in Manhattan. The suit says before the alleged assault, Doe had been to Simmons’ home several times “with no incident.”

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The alleged rape happened when Doe went to the apartment to get Simmons to sign off on a music video, according to the lawsuit.

During the meeting, the complaint alleges Simmons questioned the woman about her underwear and her sexual preferences.

The suit says later in the meeting, Simmons asked the woman to go to his bedroom to watch the rough cut of the music video. According to the complaint, Simmons regularly conducted business in his bedroom.

During that particular meeting with Doe, the suit says Simmons began jumping on the bed and asked doe if she wanted to have sex, which she says she declined.

“All of a sudden, Mr. Simmons performed a ‘wrestling move,’ climbing on top of Ms. Doe and pinning her arms down to the bed,” the lawsuit says, adding that Simmons “proceeded to rape her.”

Doe left Def Jam in 1997, according to the complaint.

She is now seeking an unspecified amount in damages for loss of employment, loss of wages and compensation. Doe has also requested a trial by jury.

A representative released a statement on Simmons’ behalf denying the claims in the lawsuit.

“I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex. I would not, did not, and never will,” the statement says.

Russell Simmons has been accused of sexual abuse by multiple women in the past.

His accusers include former music executive Drew Dixon, who alleged he raped her in 1995.

Dixon was the subject of the 2020 HBO documentary On the Record.

The #MeToo film included interviews with several women who accused Simmons of abuse.