Russell Simmons has gone into recluse mode after a slew of sexual assault and harassment accusations cropped up against him. In the heat of last fall’s #MeToo movement, which arose after studio producer Harvey Weinstein was exposed for decades of sexual assault, Russell Simmons and his longtime friend Brett Ratner were exposed in an LA Times article for “aggressive sexual advances” against Keri Claussen Khaligi. Writer Jenny Lumet wrote a piece alleging that he had locked her in a car, took her to his home, and raped her. After that, three more women came out alleging sexual assault. At first, Simmons sought to spearhead a #NotMe movement and deny the accusation, saying “my longtime loathing of any form of violence and abuse has been woven into all of my personal interactions, as most who know me will attest.” He later retracted those statements and stepped down from his myriad companies.
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An open letter………. Attesting to the character of the man who, as a teenager saved my life. Salaciousness and scandal garners headlines. Cowards cower, during times of tumult. But as inarguably, Russell’s biggest Def Jam female protege, (who birthed an era of overtly evocative stars), the man I’ve known and loved, was nothing more than the respectful, respected, gentleman and GODFATHER OF HIP-HOP we’ve all adored. In staunch support, Praying for you Russ! Let’s send our LOVE. Fox @unclerush
Simmons has been an industry pariah since then, but one person has recently come to his defense — former Def Jam signee Foxy Brown. The beloved rapper made a post on Instagram defending Russell with an open letter “attesting to the character of the man who, as a teenager saved my life.” She then surmised that “salaciousness and scandal garner headlines,” and said Simmons has never been anything “more than the respectful, respected, gentleman and GODFATHER OF HIP-HOP we’ve all adored.” She ended the letter imploring people to send their love to Russell.
Comments on the post were mixed, including one account that noted, “Foxy brown girl! You were always safe with russell simmons because you are not his type! You are not white you are not mixed race with European features you are not the light skin black girl with real hair. You are the dark skin female that he has no sexual interest in.”