According to Billboard, former Def Jam Recordings label boss Russell Simmons is being sued for rape, in a lawsuit worth $5 million. Filmmaker Jennifer Jarosik filed documents in which she accuses Simmons of forced sexual intercourse with the US District Court for the Central District of California on Wednesday. Simmons denies the allegations.
Simmons has been accused of sexual assault on a number of recent occasions. He has vocally maintained his innocence via a public statement, and the accusations have lead to him to decide to step down from a number of his businesses.
According to Billboard, Jarosik alleges in the documents that in 2016 Russell Simmons raped her when he invited her to his home under the pretence of discussing a documentary project. Per Billboard's report, it's claimed that after being refused sex, Simmons became violent, "pounced on her while she was still in shock and fear, and proceeded to rape her." Jarosik's lawyer Perry C Wander gave the following statement to Billboard: "It's time that the hip hop industry face the music and recognize that the deep rooted history of misogyny and discrimination against women in the music industry has to come to an end. #TimesUp."
Regarding Jarosik's lawsuit, Simmons released the following statement to Rolling Stone, via a representative:
This allegation is absolutely untrue. I look forward to having my day in court—where, unlike the court of public opinion, I will have the ability to make use of fair processes that ensure that justice will be done and that the full truth will be known. In the meantime, please understand that I will not litigate this matter in the media. I am confident that when all is said and all is done, it will be as clear to others as it is to me that I did not do what this lawsuit accuses me of doing.
These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual. I am blessed to have shared extraordinary relationships, whether through work or love, with many great women; and I have enormous respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power. I am devastated by any reason I may have given to anyone to say or think of me in the ways that are currently being described. In recent weeks, some former business, creative and romantic partners have aired grievances as claims I categorically reject. In some of these instances, financial motives and direct contradictory witness testimony has been supplied to the media, which has been completely left out of stories. The current allegations range from the patently untrue to the frivolous and hurtful. The presumption of innocent until proven guilty must not be replaced by “guilty by accusation.”
I have already apologized for the instances of thoughtlessness in my consensual relations. I have separated myself from my businesses and charities in order to not become a distraction. I have re-dedicated myself to spiritual learning, healing and working on behalf of the communities to which I have devoted my life. I have accepted that I can and should get dirt on my sleeves if it means witnessing the birth of a new consciousness about women. What I will not accept is responsibility for what I have not done. I have conducted my life with a message of peace and love. Although I have been candid about how I have lived in books and interviews detailing my flaws, I will relentlessly fight against any untruthful character assassination that paints me as a man of violence.
We'll update this story as more information becomes available.
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This article originally appeared on Noisey UK.