Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons is facing a $5 million lawsuit as a documentary filmmaker has accused him of raping her in 2016.
Jennifer Jarosik is the latest woman to come forward with allegations of sexual assault against Simmons.
In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Jarosik states that she befriended Simmons in New York over common interests like yoga and meditation. He also told her that he would help finance and produce her documentary film.
Jarosik, an aspiring filmmaker by profession, alleged that the music mogul invited her over to his Los Angeles house in 2016 and then asked her to have sex with him. When she rejected his request, Simmons became aggressive and pushed Jarosik onto his bed before forcing himself on her.
"Plaintiff tried to force Defendant to stay away from her and in doing so, Defendant knocked Plaintiff off his bed, and Plaintiff hit her head and then Defendant pounced on her while she was still in shock and fear, and proceeded to rape her," the lawsuit states. Jarosik is seeking $5 million in damages.
She says that she only told a handful of friends about the assault but holds herself partially responsible for not being strong enough to resist Simmons's advances. She added that she decided to get in touch with Simmons via text message after several other women opened up about being sexually assaulted and raped by the hip-hop mogul but he acted like nothing happened and stopped responding to her messages.
Simmons Denies Rape Allegations
Simmons released a statement via his spokesman on Wednesday, Jan. 25, denying the rape allegations. In the statement, he said that the allegations were absolutely untrue. He looks forward to battling the accusations in court and is confident that justice will be served and the truth will be revealed via a fair process unlike "the court of public opinion."
Four other women have accused Simmons of rape in incidents that occurred in the 80s and 90s. Several other women including former fashion model Keri Claussen Khalighi and Jenny Lumet, daughter of filmmaker Sidney Lumet, have pointed fingers at the multi-millionaire for sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior over the last couple of months.
He denied the allegations but stepped down from a number of his businesses in the wake of the accusations.