- 23 Nov 17
Simmons has been accused of sexually assaulting model Keri Claussen Khalighi when she was 17 years-old.
It was reported that this incident took place in 1991, when Khalighi met the Def Jam founder and director Brett Ratner for a casting call.
Speaking to the LA Times, Khalighi said that Simmons made a series of aggressive sexual advances and later forced her to perform oral sex back in his apartment. Attempting to get help from Ratner, she recalled that he "just sat there and watched".
Afterwards, Khalighi took a shower, during which time Simmons sexually penetrated her briefly, to which she responded by forcing him to stop.
Commenting on these allegations, Simmons initially stated that he had "no recollection" of this event, while also noting, "Everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation".
Simmons has since penned a lengthy statement in the Hollywood Reporter, wherein he has refuted the allegations further, which he opened by saying,
"Humanity is going through a powerful and wrenching shift of consciousness that I believe will ultimately lead to a mass awakening in all humankind."
"The daily news detailing the growing number of experiences of women being victimized are being brought to the light. I do not doubt that the vast majority of the allegations these brave survivors are sharing are true and dignified. I see their stories giving a voice to the voiceless, which has been the central theme of my life’s journey."
"I also know from recent painful personal experience that some recollections can be cast in a light away from the actual facts."
He mentioned three witnesses, two being anonymous while the third was his former assistant, Anthony McNair, all of whom signed statements agreeing that any sexual contact was "consensual".
Stressing his "longtime loathing of any form of violence and abuse", he went on to say Keri "never accused me of what she has said publicly. She insisted I was not violent."
Concluding his statement, Simmons addressed en masse victims of sexual abuse and harassment who have come forward recently, saying, "To all the #MeToo campaigns and women around the world, I support your healing and will continue to be an honest and imperfect advocate for the voiceless (including animals) and humanity as a whole."
Brett Ratner has so far been accused by ten women of sexual assault and harassment, including actresses Olivia Munn, Natasha Henstridge, Sarah Shahi and Ellen Page, and journalist Danielle Berrin.