With several Hollywood honchos like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. being exposed for various levels of sexual misconduct on the job, plenty more stars are sure to be outed as well. Film producer Brett Ratner and Def Jam founder Russell Simmons are the latest under investigation, as they’ve both been linked to sexual battery allegations made back in 2001, according to Variety.
The alleged victim has not been identified. According to police records, the 29-year-old woman came into the department to file a report at 4:45 a.m. on the morning of Nov. 3, 2001. She alleged both Ratner and Simmons held her against her will and fondled her without consent.
She claimed that the incident occurred between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. that morning at a home in the 1200 block of Benedict Canyon Drive. Ratner’s home is on the same block. The Rush Hour producer was also the subject of a recent Los Angeles Times expose, wherein six women accuse him of sexual misconduct.
Simmons, on the other hand, has addressed the allegations in a public statement:
“This is an important and critical time for the empowerment of women and men who have been harassed. I have been a public figure for all of my adult life. And when you are in that arena over decades, you can find yourself in a position where you are vulnerable and susceptible to claims that are untrue.”
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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.