Russell Simmons accused of rape by Alexia Jones Norton: "I must have said no seven to 10 times”
Simmons has denied all accusations so far, even though he has stepped down from his companies in November after screenwriter Jenny Lumet alleged him of sexually assaulting her.
Back in November of 1990, Alexia Jones Norton had gone on a date with Russell Simmons. As per the account of the model and actress, she had a pleasant night out with him - following which the music producer invited her to see his new apartment in downtown Manhattan; and that's when it all went downhill. In Alexia's side of the story, as she spilled to Variety, Simmons pinned her against a wall and reportedly raped her. “It was such a fast attack,” Alexia shared with the outlet. “He pulled my dress up. I must have said no seven to 10 times.”
It didn't end at just that; Simmons still continued pursuing her - to the extent of calling her at home and even approaching her at social events. Jones - who is the granddaughter of the late book publisher W.W. Norton - was 31 at the time, and an aspiring model and actress. Simmons was a friend of her father, Clarence Jones - who himself was an attorney and speechwriter for civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
It was shared that after a few years after that incident, Jones had finally forgiven Simmons. But things flamed up last spring once again - almost thirty years later - when Jones had filed a report with NYPD, detailing the incident. Her case fell outside the statute of limitations in New York, but Jones stood in solidarity with the multiple women who had come forward with their allegations of abuse against the Def Jam co-founder.
While Jones isn't demanding any monetary damages, over a dozen women have accused Simmons of sexual assault or rape. Some of their stories were unraveled by investigations conducted by The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.
As for Simmons, he has denied all accusations so far, even though he has stepped down from his companies in November after The Hollywood Reporter's guest column by screenwriter Jenny Lumet blew up; Lumet alleged Simmons had sexually assaulted her in 1991.
In Simmons' statement to Variety, he denied Jones' accusations, saying: “I’m deeply saddened by this story from Alexia. At no time did she share these feelings about her first sexual encounter with me, which took place roughly 28 years ago. I have taken multiple lie detector tests that affirm I never sexually assaulted anyone. Alexia and I dated, were intimate and attended multiple events together after she alleges the incident occurred in 1990. I considered her a friend for all these years and continue to have a warm relationship with members of her family. I believe we last spoke in 2006 when she called to express her disappointment over the fact that I had not attended an event honoring her father.”
There was also a written statement from his driver, Kenneth L. Jennings, who has worked for him since 1989. “I recall driving Mr. Simmons and Alexia Jones on about 10 to 12 dates in or about 1990,” the statement read. “Their relationship lasted approximately five months.”
Jones claims she had never dated Simmons. She does admit she had called him some 12 years ago and inquired why he hadn't attended an event honoring her father. She shared that Clarence was never made aware of what Simmons had done to her, but over the years, she had confided in her therapist - who in turn confirmed to Variety that Jones had indeed shared instances of being attacked by Simmons, back in the early '90s.
Speaking about why she had finally decided to come out about her harrowing experience with Simmons, she said: I would have kept quiet forever. What made me come forward is his denials of violence toward other women. I don’t want any money from Russell."
She also added: "I’m not suing him. If you look at the women he allegedly assaulted, many of us have a similar look. It’s uncanny. Russell knew that the African-American community was behind him. There are so few black men who make it, we wanted him to succeed. Yet there was also this huge betrayal. He counted on this silence."