An additional nine women have accused Russell Simmons of rape, harassment and assault, according to reports by HuffPost, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. Incidents described in the reports date from 1983 to 2016, and include an event in which the music mogul allegedly exposed his erect penis to a colleague. In another episode, Simmons allegedly pushed a woman into a broom closet and attempted to kiss her.
The additional accusations come just weeks after initial sexual assault allegations were made by two women. Simmons stepped down from his companies and was reportedly shunned by HBO following the initial allegations.
On Thursday, Simmons reportedly deleted his Twitter account and denied allegations in a lengthy Instagram post using the hashtag #NotMe.
“Today, I begin to properly defend myself. I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges,” he wrote. “Today, I will focus on ‘The Original Sin’ (Keri Claussen), the claim that created this insane pile on of my #MeToo. Stay tuned! We’ll share information today… And tomorrow the case of Jenny Lumet. My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in anyway, but instead hold my accusers accountable. #NotMe Again, this is not a movement against or even in conjunction with #Metoo . It’s just a statement about my innocence.”
Details surrounding Simmons emerge as a spokesperson for Harvey Weinstein denies Salma Hayek’s recent allegations against the fallen producer. In case you missed it, Hayek published an essay in The New York Times on Wednesday detailing her horrific experiences with Weinstein. In the essay, Hayek writes that along with forcing her to do a full-frontal nude scene, Weinstein also allegedly threatened to kill her.
The statement issued by Weinstein’s spokesperson and shared by Vanity Fair denies “pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female co-star.”
“All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired,” the statement reads.
You can read the full statement below:
Mr. Weinstein regards Salma Hayek as a first-class actress and cast her in several of his movies, among them Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Dogma, and Studio 54. He was very proud of her best-actress Academy Award nomination for Frida and continues to support her work.
While Jennifer Lopez was interested in playing Frida and at the time was a bigger star, Mr. Weinstein overruled other investors to back Salma as the lead. Miramax put up half of the money and all of the P&A; the budget was over $12 million. As in most collaborative projects, there was creative friction on Frida, but it served to drive the project to perfection. The movie opened in multiple theaters and was supported by a huge advertising campaign and an enormous Academy Awards budget.
Mr. Weinstein does not recall pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female co-star and he was not there for the filming. However, that was part of the story, as Frida Kahlo was bisexual and the more significant sex scene in the movie was choreographed by Ms. Hayek with Geoffrey Rush. The original unibrow used was an issue because it diverted attention from the performances. All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired.
Ed Norton, who was Ms. Hayek’s boyfriend at the time, [worked with Mr. Weinstein on the rewrite of the script in Mexico] did a brilliant job of rewriting the script and Mr. Weinstein battled the W.G.A. to get him a credit on the film. His effort was unsuccessful to everyone’s disappointment.
By Mr. Weinstein’s own admission, his boorish behavior following a screening of Frida was prompted by his disappointment in the cut of the movie—and a reason he took a firm hand in the final edit, alongside the very skilled director Julie Taymor.