Two more women have filed criminal complaints against Russell Simmons accusing the mogul of rape.
Asked about the latest complaints against Simmons, NYPD detective Sophia Mason told USA Today, “The NYPD has received information regarding allegations involving Russell Simmons in the NYC area and our detectives are in the process of reviewing that information.”
TMZ reported on Tuesday that the two women – Sherri Hines, a member of the hip-hop group Mercedes Ladies, and another woman who asked to remain anonymous – met with the New York Police Department in late December to provide information to the ongoing rape investigation against Simmons.
Hines, who previously shared her story with the Los Angeles Times, claimed to investigators that Simmons raped her in 1983. When Hines was 17 or 18, she alleges that Simmons invited her to check out his office. The two sat down on a couch and “the next thing I knew, he was pinning me down and I was trying to fight him and he had his way,” Hines claimed. “I left crying.” The second woman alleges that Simmons raped her in his Manhattan residency in 1991.
According to TMZ, the NYPD currently has at least seven criminal complaints accusing Simmons of rape, one month after the New York Times‘ explosive exposé as well as Jenny Lumet’s first-person account for The Hollywood Reporter. There is no statute of limitation for rape charges in New York.
When contacted by Rolling Stone, an attorney for Simmons reiterated a previously released statement in which he “vehemently [denies] all these allegations.” “These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core,” the statement read. “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.
“I have already apologized for the instances of thoughtlessness in my relationships with women,” Simmons added. “I have separated myself from my businesses and charities in order to not become a distraction. I have re-dedicated myself to spiritual learning, healing and working on behalf of the communities to which I have devoted my life. I have conducted my life with a message of peace and love. Although I have been candid about how I have lived in books and interviews detailing my flaws, I will not accept responsibility for what I have not done.”
In the aftermath of the sexual assault allegations, Simmons launched a #NotMe hashtag in response to the #MeToo movement. “My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in anyway, but instead hold my accusers accountable. #NotMe Again, this is not a movement against or even in conjunction with #Metoo. It’s just a statement about my innocence,” Simmons said at the time.
On Tuesday, Simmons put an end to his #NotMe campaign, with his reps telling Page Six “that this is a time for women to speak.” The mogul previously stepped down from leadership roles at his various companies in November, when the accusations against him first arose.