A woman says hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons once sexually assaulted her while Hollywood producer Brett Ratner watched.
Keri Claussen Khalighi adds that the 1991 incident occurred at Simmons’ apartment in New York City when she was a 17-year-old fashion model.
“I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face,” she told The Los Angeles Times Sunday, referencing Simmons removing her clothes.
“In that moment, the realization fell on me that that they were in it together,” Khalighi added of the incident.
Khalighi, who is now 43, said that she met both men in 1991 for dinner at Mr. Chow in New York City.
Simmons began making aggressive sexual advances when the group returned to his apartment, she continued, before yanking off her clothing.
Khalighi added that Simmons, who was then roughly double her age, tried forcing her to have sexual intercourse.
“I fought it wildly,” she said before claiming Simmons stopped and then coerced her into performing oral sex.
“I guess I just acquiesced,” Khalighi added of the music industry titan’s pressuring, “[Ratner] just sat there and watched.”
Khalighi said she felt “disgusting” after the incident and then went to shower, only for Simmons to walk up behind her.
The woman claimed that Simmons then briefly penetrated her without consent, prompting her to jerk away before he left.
“It hurt so much,” Khalighi said of the alleged incident involving Simmons, the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings.
Simmons, now 60, on Sunday said in a statement to The Times that he strongly disputes Khalighi’s account of their past encounter.
“Everything that occurred between me and Keri occurred with her full consent and participation,” he said.
Simmons noted that much of the two days and one night he spent with Khalighi involved being in public or spending time together with other people.
Martin Singer, who is Ratner’s attorney, on Sunday said that his client had “no recollection” of Khalighi asking for aid and denied witnessing her “protest.”
The Times on Sunday reported that Ratner and Simmons have been friends since meeting in New York City in 1987.
Multiple women – including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge – earlier this month accused Ratner of sexual harassment and misconduct.
Ratner has since “categorically” denied all the harassment and misconduct allegations through Singer.
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