Following at least 11 accusations of sexual misconduct against Russell Simmons — seven of which allegedly happened in New York City — the New York Police Department’s special victims unit has opened an investigation of the embattled music mogul.
A person at the NYPD who was not authorized to comment publicly and requested anonymity told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday that detectives are in the initial stages of reaching out to women who have alleged that Simmons assaulted them in New York.
Sherri Hines, who went by the name Sheri Sher when she was in the all-female hip-hop group Mercedes Ladies, told The Times on Thursday that she was contacted by the NYPD earlier in the day. She says Simmons raped her in his New York office around 1983.
Simmons’ attorney, Brad Rose, said late Thursday that his client “fully supports and will cooperate with the police inquiry and is confident of a swift resolution.”
Simmons has previously denied the claims of all the women accusing him of misconduct. On Instagram, on Thursday he vowed to fight back against the allegations.
“Today, I begin to properly defend myself. I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges,” he wrote, adding a #NotMe hashtag to his post.
On Nov. 19, The Times published an account from Keri Claussen Khalighi in which the former model said that in 1991, Simmons coerced her to perform oral sex and penetrated her anally against her will in his New York City apartment. A few days later, on Nov. 30, screenwriter Jenny Lumet wrote in the Hollywood Reporter that Simmons had also sexually violated her in 1991 at his New York home.
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