The accusations just keep on coming for Russell Simmons, as the Def Jam founder is now being accused of getting a little too handsy with a star of Bravo’s popular Real Housewives series.
Real Housewives of New York’s Luanna de Lesseps now claims in an interview with The Daily Beast that the father of two grabbed her butt without permission while riding an elevator together three years ago at Soho Beach House in Miami.
“He grabbed my ass in an elevator, he was just a pig,” de Lesseps said. “I haven’t told anybody about that before. I was grossed out. I was like ‘How dare you.’ He invaded me, he took advantage of me, being who he is, thinking he is all ‘it,’ all everything. He thought he could just do that. I looked at him and said, ‘Don’t ever do that again.’”
When asked if he apologized for the inappropriate gesture, de Lesseps responded sharply, “No. Of course he didn’t apologize.”
Simmons replied to the accusation with a statement he’s previously released “vehemently denying” the sexual misconduct claims against him.
“They have shocked me to my core as I have never been abusive or violent in any way in my relations with women. I am blessed to have shared extraordinary relationships, whether through work or love, with many great women and I have enormous respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power.”
“I am devastated by any reason I may have given to anyone to say or think of me in the ways that are currently being described.”
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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.