Music mogul Russell Simmons has been accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl following a casting call in 1991 as movie producer Brett Ratner allegedly watched and did nothing to help.
The allegations, published in The Los Angeles Times on Sunday, come a little more than a week after it was reported that both Simmons and Ratner were investigated by the Beverly Hills Police Department for a similar incident in 2001. It also follows at least eight women recently accusing Ratner of sexual assault.
Keri Claussen Khalighi, a fashion model at the time of the alleged 1991 incident, told the Times that she had gone back to Simmon’s New York apartment to watch a music video the men were working on. There, she said, her clothes were yanked off and Simmons made unwanted sexual advances.
“I looked over at Brett and said, ‘Help me,’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face,” she told the Times. “In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.”
Khalighi said Simmons tried to force her to have intercourse but she refused and “acquiesced” to perform oral sex instead. Ratner, she said, “just sat there and watched.”
She said that while taking a shower afterward Simmons came up behind her and briefly penetrated her without her consent. She jerked away from him and he left, she said.
Both men, in statements to the Times, denied that anything happened with Khalighi without her consent. An attorney for Ratner also disputed her asking him for help and seeing her “protest.”
“I know Keri Claussen Khalighi and remember the weekend in 1991 that she has referenced. Everything that happened between us 26 years ago was completely consensual and with Keri’s full participation,” Simmons said in a statement posted to Facebook Sunday morning. “I completely and unequivocally deny the horrendous allegations of non-consensual sex against me with every fiber of my being.”
Earlier this month it was first reported by Variety that both men had been investigated for sexual battery against a 29-year-old woman in 2001.
The woman told Beverly Hills police that she was held against her will at a home by “two males who both unlawfully touched her.”
Charges were never filed in the case because of insufficient evidence, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office told both Variety and The L.A. Times.
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