Russell Simmons is the latest industry bigwig to be hit with multiple accusations of sexual assault. At least five different women have accused the Def Jam co-founder of various levels of inappropriate contact, from unwanted fondling to full blown rape.
Simmons will be represented in court by former Atlanta mayoral candidate Michael Sterling, who happens to be the boyfriend of model Eva Marcille. The couple are currently expecting their first child together. The hip hop icon is also being represented by attorney E. Carlos Tanner, according to The Jasmine Brand.
Earlier this month, Marcille defended Simmons on social media, saying it is unfair to condemn the music mogul based purely on accusations.
“Allegations and accusations are not facts…how quick we are to condemn an amazing man because of what someone says…what about his denial of these horrible accusations, do they not have weight? I know Russell to be an amazing upstanding man period.”
We are personally very committed and moved by the national climate that is unearthing a lot of very troubling incidents that have been silenced too long. In our case, we are being diligent and assiduous about understanding what happened and what *did not* happen. As critical as the movement is to us, we know that sensationalism and speculation doesn’t help forward any of our understandings of the issues, but every accusation is an opportunity to unveil more truths. [link in bio] #fightingfortruth
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The father of two has already decided to step down from his various companies, with J.C. Penney and HBO disassociating themselves with his brand soon after allegations were made public.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.