Music exec Russell Simmonshas countered the sexual assault allegations made against him and his filmmaker friendBrett Ratnerby model Keri Claussen Khalighi.
The model had accused Simmons of forcing himself on her in the presence of Ratner who did not respond to her cries for help. She was 17 at the time.
Simmons in a counter-claim of his says he did not molest her as claimed, insisting that the encounter was consensual. Now 60 years old, he would have been 34 at the time.
His statement, reproduced below was sent to LA Times who refused to publish it on account of the impropriety of a 34 year old man who claims his sexual encounter with a 17 year old was ‘consensual’, forcing him to send to gossip site The Shaderoom.
His official statement reads:
‘As a long-time social activist, I have applauded the strength of the brave men and women who have spoken out over the past month and made their voices heard regarding sexual assault and harassment. I am a supporter of the #MeToo campaign and the victims who were previously terrified to stand up and speak out against sexual misconduct. I completely and unequivocally deny the horrendous allegations of non-consensual sex against me with every fiber of my being.
I know Keri Claussen Khalighi and remember the weekend in 1991 that she has referenced. Everything that happened between us 26 years ago was completely consensual and with Keri’s full participation. We spent time in my apartment over a period of two days and one night, as well as at some public places including Nell’s Nightclub. Much of the time we were in the presence of other acquaintances. I’m deeply saddened and truly shocked to learn of Keri’s assertions as to what happened over the course of that weekend.
Let me be crystal clear and very direct. Abusing women in any way shape or form violates the very core of my being. I have always spoken out regarding my life experiences, women’s issues and the need to bring a faster and more decisive shift in the collective consciousness that will help bring about true women’s equality. More than anything, I want my daughters to live in a more equal world and a world where they will not become victims of sexual harassment.
The LA Times article also references an allegation by Ms. Tanya Reid. I mean no disrespect to her at all when I say I honestly do not recall my telephone conversation with a hotel front desk clerk from over a quarter-century ago.’