“It was such a fast attack,” Jones said. “I remember being pushed up against a wall. He pulled my dress up. I must have said no seven to 10 times, and then I acquiesced.”
Last spring, Jones reported the incident to the New York Police Department, though her case fell outside the statue of limitations. Jones said she has forgiven Simmons and is not trying to sue him. She said she decided to share her story to stand with the more than one dozen women who have accused Simmons of sexual misconduct, harassment and rape.
Jones was a 31-year-old writer, model and performing artist when the alleged incident occurred (she is also the granddaughter of book publisher W.W. Norton and the daughter of Clarence Jones, who worked as a lawyer and speechwriter for Martin Luther King, Jr.). In a detailed essay, Jones said she met Simmons socially in the late Eighties. She said Simmons got her phone number and called her constantly, even though he had a girlfriend at the time. Several years later, when both Jones and Simmons were single, they went on a date after which, Jones recalled, Simmons asked to show her his new apartment.
“Within a few minutes, he got what he thought was amorous,” Jones recalled. “What was shocking to me was that it wasn’t. It was one of these things, where he had so many hands on me. But he only has two hands. It began with us kissing. There was something about kissing him, his heart was racing.”
Jones said Simmons’ behavior made her nervous, in part because she “had been a survivor of sexual abuse as a young teenager.” Jones said she “didn’t want to go further,” but Simmons continued to force himself on her. She said the alleged incident lasted less than 10 minutes, after which she went home. Jones said she felt unable to tell anyone about the alleged attack because she and Simmons had the same friends.
“When I saw him out after that, I wouldn’t even look him in the eyes,” Jones said. “I thought he was garbage. But he still had the compunction to call me. I became very depressed. It eroded my self-esteem. This is the worst message that it sends, that somebody could in a different circumstance like you but think you are worthless. And he can just take it from you. It’s like the murder of the soul.”
In a statement to Variety Simmons denied Jones’ allegations, saying, “At no time did she share these feelings about her first sexual encounter with me, which took place roughly 28 years ago. I have taken multiple lie detector tests that affirm I never sexually assaulted anyone. Alexia and I dated, were intimate and attended multiple events together after she alleges the incident occurred in 1990. I considered her a friend for all these years and continue to have a warm relationship with members of her family. I believe we last spoke in 2006 when she called to express her disappointment over the fact that I had not attended an event honoring her father.”
A representative for Simmons also shared a statement from the mogul’s driver, Kenneth L. Jennings, who claimed he drove the pair on “about 10 to 12 dates in or about 1990.” Jones disputed these claims, while her therapist confirmed that Jones spoke with her about the alleged attack during sessions in the early Nineties.