The New York City Police Department has opened an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations, including rape, against Russell Simmons, a law enforcement source with intel on the investigation said this week. Authorities will investigate indirect complaints made by several women who came forward to The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times about Simmons, who recently stepped down from his various companies, CNN reported.
As of now, 12 women have accused Simmons of sexual harassment and assault in various incidents alleged to have occurred over several years. Drew Dixon, Toni Sallie, Tina Baker and Sherri Hines have publicly accused Simmons of rape, according to reports. The 12th allegation was made against Simmons by Kelly Cuthrone, a fashion publicist, TV personality and author who said the mogul attempted to rape her to Page Six.
NYPD Special Victims Unit detectives are working to identify the women who filed allegations and will contact them as part of the investigation.
Simmons “vehemently” denied all the women’s claims to CNN: “These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual,” he said in a statement.”I am blessed to have shared extraordinary relationships, whether through work or love, with many great women; and I have enormous respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power. “I am devastated by any reason I may have given to anyone to say or think of me in the ways that are currently being described.
But will Simmons cooperate with the investigation? Brad Rose, Simmons’ attorney, said the mogul will comply. “Russell Simmons fully supports and will cooperate with the police inquiry and is confident of a swift resolution,” Rose said. The Def Jam co-founder also further addressed the allegations via Instagram this week.