The woman, listed as “Jane Doe” in the lawsuit to protect her identity, alleges that Simmons made “several aggressive, unwanted sexual advances despite Jane Doe’s active and clear discouragement” when the woman, an on-air personality at a local rock radio station, interviewed Simmons at San Bernadino, California’s Rock & Brews restaurant. Simmons is a co-owner in the restaurant chain, which is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, the San Bernardino Sun reported.
The lawsuit alleges that at the venue, Simmons “reached over and grabbed [Doe’s] hand and, forcefully, placed it on his knee.” Doe withdrew her hand, “feeling that this was an unwanted sexual advance,” but Simmons continued to reach for Doe’s hand.
During the interview, Simmons answered standard questions with “sexual innuendos” and commented that Doe “must use lotion” after grabbing her hand again. Simmons then allegedly “flicked/struck” Doe in the throat, at which point Doe attempted to end the interview.
When the interview did end and Simmons, Doe and her team posed for promotional pictures, the lawsuit states that Simmons “reached towards [Doe’s] buttocks and touched it.”
The lawsuit seeks a “money judgment for mental pain and anguish and severe emotional distress, humiliation and embarrassment” as well as punitive damages. After the lawsuit was filed Friday at the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles, Simmons denied the accusations.
“I intend to defend myself against any alleged charges you may have been reading about in the media,” Simmons said in a statement to Ultimate Classic Rock. “For the record, I did not assault the person making these accusations in the manner alleged in the complaint or harm her in any way. I am conferring with my lawyers with the aim of vigorously countering these allegations. And, I look forward to my day in court where the evidence will prove my innocence.”
A representative for Simmons did not respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
The lawsuit comes just weeks after Simmons was reportedly banished from appearing on Fox News due to “inappropriate and sexist antics” during an office visit, the Daily Beast reported.
Simmons said in response to the Fox News ban, “I have appeared frequently over the years on various Fox News and Fox Business programs and have a tremendous amount of respect for the talented women and men who work there. While I believe that what is being reported is highly exaggerated and misleading, I am sincerely sorry that I unintentionally offended members of the Fox team during my visit.”