A woman filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles country superior court on Friday, March 23, against Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons. She seeks $10 million in damages for forcible rape, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress, according to a new report from Billboard.
The woman, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, accuses Simmons of threatening and raping her in his hotel room after the two met at a concert. Simmons invited her to an afterparty. She had her young son with her at the time, and went to a nightclub with Simmons after dropping him off.
Doe claims that Simmons lured her into his hotel room by saying he needed to retrieve something from there. Once in his room, according to the complaint, Simmons threatened Doe by saying “I am going to fuck you,” and then “I’m going to fuck you or I’m going to fuck your son.”
Simmons denied all the allegations in a statement to Billboard, claiming:
“I have submitted myself to multiple lie detector tests. I denied forced sex and sexual harassment allegations brought against me in each test; I also answered no to the question, ‘Have you ever physically forced any woman to have sexual intercourse?’ I passed all of the lie detector tests.”
Simmons has been accused of rape and sexual assault by at least 12 women since November 2017, when two women—actress Keri Claussen Khalighi and former aspiring model Tanya Reid—separately accused Simmons of forcing oral sex on them when they were 17 and 18 years old. The floodgates from this wave of allegations against the music mogul were almost certainly open thanks to the #MeToo movement and the women who have spoken out against alleged serial sexual abuser Harvey Weinstein—although the music industry has yet to have had as big of a self-reckoning as Hollywood has.
However, Simmons is one of the most prominent men in the music industry to be accused multiple times of rape, and with this lawsuit, that may change—if Simmons and those who may have aided in covering his alleged abuses of women are ready to go there.