Russell Simmons has been accused of alleged rape by three women. Here’s everything you need to know about the music mogul.
1. He’s been accused of alleged rape. According to the New York Times, in the timespan of 1988-2014, four women have accused Russell Simmons, 60, of alleged sexual harassment. And three of those four claim he allegedly raped them. Although Simmons has stepped down from his positions with his various businesses, he has “vehemently” denied the accusations levied against him.
2. He co-founded the hip-hop label Dej Jam Recordings. In 1983, he and Rick Rubin started Def Jam, which began working with big name artists like Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, 49, and Public Enemy. Simmons sold his entire stake in the company for $100 million in 1999. Later, the label would grow to include current artists such as 2 Chainz, 39, Big Sean, 29, Kanye West, 40, and many, many more.
3. He was in hot water over a sketch involving Harriet Tubman in 2013. In the comedy sketch entitled “The Harriet Tubman Sex Tape” that was posted on his All Def YouTube channel, an actor portraying Harriet Tubman convinces her slave owner to join the Underground Railroad by having sex with him.
4. He was worth $341 million, as of 2011. An entrepreneur, Russell created the clothing lines Argyleculture, Phat Farm and Tantris. He’s also written several books, co-produced films such as The Nutty Professor, and on TV, Russell produced Def Jam Comedy and Def Jam Poetry. In light of recent accusations, HBO has decided to remove Simmons’ name from his series All Def Comedy.
5. He was previously married. Simmons tied the knot with his current ex-wife Kimora Lee in 1998 before the two divorced in 2006. They have two children together: Ming Lee and Aoki Lee.
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