Brett Ratner and Russell Simmons accused of working together to commit sexual assault
After numerous allegations against director Brett Ratner surfaced in the last month, a report by the Los Angeles Times alleges that Ratner and his mentor Russell Simmons worked like a tag team to sexually intimidate and coerce various women.
The pair has been accused of working together to assault and harass women by Keri Claussen Khalighi. Khalighi alleges that when she was 17, she was invited to Simmons' apartment — under the pretense of looking at a music video — during a casting call. Simmons allegedly made aggressive sexual advances towards Khalighi in the apartment, while Ratner looked on and did not help, states a report by Variety.
"I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face. In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together. I fought it wildly." said Khalighi, according to the same LA Times report. She claims that she was eventually coerced into performing oral sex on Simmons as Ratner sat there and watched. Khalighi went on to say that afterward, Simmons followed her into the shower and penetrated her from behind without her consent.
Simmons, head of Def Jam Recordings, issued a statement disputing her account. “I know Keri Claussen Khalighi and remember the weekend in 1991 that she has referenced. Everything that happened between us 26 years ago was completely consensual and with Keri’s full participation,” said Simmons in the statement. "I’m deeply saddened and truly shocked to learn of Keri’s assertions as to what happened over the course of that weekend. Let me be crystal clear and very direct. Abusing women in any way shape or form violates the very core of my being,” said Simmons, according to a report by New York Daily News.
Meanwhile Ratner, who is facing allegations of sexual harassment and assault by six women including actors like Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, has denied the accusation via his attorney claiming he has "no recollection" of Khalighi asking for his help. A second woman, Tanya Reid, has also made similar claims against Simmons and Ratner for acting in tandem when she worked at the front desk of a Miami Hotel. Reid claims that the pair had initially tried to call her up to their hotel room and later took her contact details claiming there was a music video she could star in. Reid alleged Ratner showed up at her apartment and forced her into performing oral sex.
Simmons has stepped down from his companies in the wake of a fresh sexual assault allegation against him by screenwriter Jenny Lumet, daughter of director Sidney Lumet. Lumet claimed that the music mogul intimidated her into having sex in 1991, according to another LA Times report.
Updated Date: Dec 01, 2017 15:32:38 IST
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