Russell Simmons is being sued for more than $5 million for allegedly sexually assaulting Jennifer Jarosik.
The suit claims that she met Simmons in New York in 2006 and they allegedly bonded over their mutual passion for meditation, yoga and being vegan. The suit further claims that Jarosik trusted him due to his “reputation as a spiritual conscious person.”
A decade later, Simmons allegedly invited Jarosik to his home in Los Angeles to discuss a documentary project when Jarosik claims he then propositioned her for sex. After she refused, she claims he became aggressive and pushed her onto his bed, which caused her to hit her head while she tried to fend him off. Jarosik then claims Simmons “pounced on her while she was still in shock, and fear, and proceeded to rape her.”
Simmons denies the allegation. “This allegation is absolutely untrue. I look forward to having my day in court – where, unlike the court of public opinion, I will have the ability to make use of fair processes that ensure that justice will be done and that the full truth will be known,” Simmons said in a statement to Rolling Stone via his rep. “In the meantime, please understand that I will not litigate this matter in the media. I am confident that when all is said and all is done, it will be as clear to others as it is to me that I did not do what this lawsuit accuses me of doing.”
“It’s time that the hip-hop industry face the music and recognize that the deep rooted history of misogyny and discrimination against women in the music industry has to come to an end #TimesUp,” Jarosik’s attorney Perry C. Wander told Billboard in a statement. “It’s not enough to apologize and step away from your business, convert a yoga studio to a nonprofit and still draw a salary and be worth $500 million and do nothing but apologize. As James Franco said, ‘if I need to make restitution, I’ll do that.'”
In recent weeks, more than a dozen women have accused Simmons of rape, attempted rape or other sexual misconduct dating back decades, USA Today reports. According to TMZ, at least seven sexual misconduct complaints against Simmons are being investigated by the NYPD. Simmons has also denied those allegations.