Russell Simmons accused of groping 'Real Housewives' star Luann de Lesseps in an elevator
Music mogul and Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons has been accused of raping at least 14 women so far, and now 'Real Housewives of New York City' star Luann de Lesseps, who has been battling legal issues of her own, has also come forward with a story that involved Simmons groping her in an elevator.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, the reality star said of Simmons, "He grabbed my a** in an elevator, he was just a pig. I haven’t told anybody about that before. I was grossed out. I was like 'How dare you.' He invaded me, he took advantage of me, being who he is, thinking he is all 'it,' all everything. He thought he could just do that. I looked at him and said, 'Don't ever do that again.'"
When pressed for the details, de Lesseps revealed that it occurred, "around three summers ago, at Soho Beach House, Miami," but she chose not to report it at the time. When asked if Simmons had apologized to her, she replied, "No. Of course he didn't apologize."
The television personality said, "I've had to deal with it my whole life." When she was younger, she had made a career for herself as a model, and she revealed that she had had to fend off unwanted advances and sexual harassment at the hands of "male photographers and clients. You learn to swallow it, to grin and bear it somehow."
According to de Lesseps, the #MeToo movement was "amazing. It’s great. It’s about time for the world and for society to understand that it’s not acceptable and nobody should have to go through that. I have been through it my whole life in one way, shape or form or the other."
She said, "One of my first jobs was doing filing in a company where my mother worked. The guy that ran it, I don't remember his name, would say, 'Oh I love it when you warm up my seat for me,' and brush up against me. This is what we live through as women, and finally we can speak up about it."
The cabaret singer is facing the possibility of jail time after a drunken run-in with the police. She said, I do a lot of good. This is the first time that something like this has ever happened to me. So I hope that they see that and choose to understand that and deal with it accordingly."
She added, "I am praying that they understand and that they can forgive someone who made a big mistake and who was not in the right frame of mind and look at my past record which is of being a nurse, a volunteer for the American Red Cross, being the mother of two children and normally a woman who gives to society through fundraising and raising money for homeless in New York and the American Cancer Society."