Aspiring filmmaker Jennifer Jarosik filed the lawsuit on Wednesday. The suit claims that she met Simmons in New York in 2006 and they allegedly bonded over their mutual passion for meditation, yoga and being vegan. The suit further claims that Jarosik trusted him due to his “reputation as a spiritual conscious person.”
A decade later, Simmons allegedly invited Jarosik to his home in Los Angeles to discuss a documentary project when Jarosik claims he then propositioned her for sex. After she refused, she claims he became aggressive and pushed her onto his bed, which caused her to hit her head while she tried to fend him off. Jarosik then claims Simmons “pounced on her while she was still in shock, and fear, and proceeded to rape her.”
Simmons denies the allegation. “This allegation is absolutely untrue. I look forward to having my day in court – where, unlike the court of public opinion, I will have the ability to make use of fair processes that ensure that justice will be done and that the full truth will be known,” Simmons said in a statement to Rolling Stone via his rep. “In the meantime, please understand that I will not litigate this matter in the media. I am confident that when all is said and all is done, it will be as clear to others as it is to me that I did not do what this lawsuit accuses me of doing.”
“It’s time that the hip-hop industry face the music and recognize that the deep rooted history of misogyny and discrimination against women in the music industry has to come to an end #TimesUp,” Jarosik’s attorney Perry C. Wander told Billboard in a statement. “It’s not enough to apologize and step away from your business, convert a yoga studio to a nonprofit and still draw a salary and be worth $500 million and do nothing but apologize. As James Franco said, ‘if I need to make restitution, I’ll do that.'”
In recent weeks, more than a dozen women have accused Simmons of rape, attempted rape or other sexual misconduct dating back decades, USA Today reports. According to TMZ, at least seven sexual misconduct complaints against Simmons are being investigated by the NYPD. Simmons has also denied those allegations.
Russell Simmons Full Statement
This allegation is absolutely untrue. I look forward to having my day in court – where, unlike the court of public opinion, I will have the ability to make use of fair processes that ensure that justice will be done and that the full truth will be known. In the meantime, please understand that I will not litigate this matter in the media. I am confident that when all is said and all is done, it will be as clear to others as it is to me that I did not do what this lawsuit accuses me of doing.
These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual. 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. In recent weeks, some former business, creative and romantic partners have aired grievances as claims I categorically reject. In some of these instances, financial motives and direct contradictory witness testimony has been supplied to the media, which has been completely left out of stories. The current allegations range from the patently untrue to the frivolous and hurtful. The presumption of innocent until proven guilty must not be replaced by “Guilty by Accusation.”
I have already apologized for the instances of thoughtlessness in my consensual relations. 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 accepted that I can and should get dirt on my sleeves if it means witnessing the birth of a new consciousness about women. What I will not accept is responsibility for what I have not done. 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 relentlessly fight against any untruthful character assassination that paints me as a man of violence.