- Rap mogul Russell Simmons is facing a civil lawsuit for allegedly raping filmmaker Jennifer Jarosik in August 2016.
- Jarosik, who is seeking $US5 million in damages, is the sixth woman to accuse Simmons of sexual assault or misconduct.
- Simmons has denied all allegations.
In the suit filed in a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, documentary filmmaker Jennifer Jarosik alleges that Simmons sexually assaulted her in August 2016 when she met Simmons at his home to discuss a film he had agreed to finance.
Jarosik, who is seeking $US5 million in damages, said in the suit that Simmons allegedly got aggressive after she refused to have sex with him. She said he pushed her onto his bed, causing her to hit her head. She claims Simmons then “pounced on her while she was still in shock and fear, and proceeded to rape her.”
Jarosik is now the sixth woman to accuse Simmons, the cofounder of Def Jam Recordings, of sexual assault or misconduct.
Simmons stepped down from his companies in November after allegations of sexual assault from the screenwriter Jenny Lumet and model Keri Claussen Khalighi. In December, three other women accused Simmons of rape in a New York Times story.
Simmons has denied all allegations and told NBC in a statement on Wednesday that he looks forward to the court case “to make use of fair processes that ensure that justice will be done and that the full truth will be known.”
Jarosik’s attorney, Perry C. Wander, said in a statement to Billboard that the case against Simmons is emblematic of a systemic problem in the music industry:
“It’s time that the hip hop industry face the music and recognise that the deep rooted history of misogyny and discrimination against women in the music industry has to come to an end. #TimesUp. It’s not enough to apologise and step away from your business, convert a yoga studio to a nonprofit and still draw a salary and be worth $US500 million and do nothing but apologise. As James Franco said, ‘if I need to make restitution I’ll do that. Mr. Simmons practices meditation, yoga and is a long time vegan practicing non violence against animals. So basically he treats animals better than women. The hypocrisy has to stop now.”
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