Russell Simmons was spotted out on Saturday amid sexual misconduct allegations including rape. The mogul is maintaining his innocence despite the handful of women who have spoken on the alleged incidents.
TMZ caught up with Simmons and asked if he thinks his name will be cleared regarding the accusations leveraged against him. “I don’t have a stitch of violence in me. I would never hurt anybody. I never had any violence in me. But you know, it’s a difficult time for everybody,” the entrepreneur responded.
Twelve women have accused Simmons of sexual misconduct including screenwriter Jenny Lumet and documentarian Jennifer Jarosik. Since the allegations began to surface Simmons has continued to defend himself by participating in a #NotMe campaign and vocally stating that he will prove his innocence. Despite these assertions, his business ties with companies like HBO and JCPenney have been cut. His excerpts in Oprah’s book have been removed as a show of support to #TimesUp.
Watch Simmons statement in the video above.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.