Before Russell Simmons’ sexual assault accusations were public, he gave Terry Crews some advice on how to handle his own situation. Crews, who recently named his alleged sexual assaulter as Adam Venit, blasted the Def Jam Recordings co-founder on Twitter Sunday, for his take on the matter. In the email, Simmons asks Crews to give Venit “a pass.” But Crews fired back “No one gets a pass.”
Message Russell Simmons sent to me regarding my sexual assault case against Adam Venit of @WME:
— terrycrews (@terrycrews) November 19, 2017
Crews recently filed a police report against Venit after the comedian said the former WME agent groped him at a February 2016 event. The actor also plans to file a lawsuit against Venit, who was put on leave from his agency after the allegations surfaced in October.
The email was sent on Nov. 3, which was days before Simmons’ own accusations bubbled up in headlines. That same day, the Los Angeles Times reported that Keri Claussen Khalighi decided to come forward with her story of Simmons’ sexual assault against her. She said she contacted Simmons after the paper published a report about Ratner on Nov. 1. After telling Simmons she was planning on going public with her story, Khalighi said she pressed him to confess to his past actions.
Then, according to the LA Times, they had a 27-minute phone call in which Khalighi claims Simmons did not deny her accusations. Instead, he apologized and referenced his two daughters.
The article details Khalighi’s allegations that Simmons sexually assaulted her in front of film director Brett Ratner, who she said didn’t stop him.
The year was 1991 and Khalighi was a 17-year-old model. After going to dinner with Simmons and Ratner in York, the group went back to Ratner’s apartment. The paper reported Simmons swiftly began making forceful sexual advances and pulling the teen’s clothes off.
“I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face,” said 43-year-old Khalighi. “In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.”
She also alleged Simmons tried to force her to have penetrative sex, which she fought “wildly.” He then allegedly compelled her to give him oral sex and she said she, “just acquiesced.”
Khalighi stated she felt “disgusting” and went to shower. During her shower, she claimed Simmons, who was about twice her age at the time, quickly and nonconsensually penetrated her.
In a statement posted on Twitter, which he provided to the LA Times, Simmons maintained that his encounter with Khalighi was consensual, in front of other people or in public.
The Sexual Assault Scandal: Terry Crews and Brett Ratner
He also said he couldn’t recall another account from the article by Tanya Reid, who claimed while they were separately staying at a hotel, Simmons called her because “he wanted me to come upstairs so Brett could hold me down and he could [perform oral sex].”
Statement of Russell Simmons in Response to LA Times Article. pic.twitter.com/iwT7Wy3SoY
— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) November 19, 2017
Simmons provided witness statements to The Shade Room Sunday to validate his stance that other people were present. One account from Simmons’ former assistant, Anthony “Mac” McNair, said Khalighi went to Simmons’ bedroom “on her own volition and without any coercion or undue influence.”
There were two other people around at the time, too. All three witnesses maintained that Khalighi was not in “distress” and that they did not see her do anything against her own “free will.”
Meanwhile, Ratner’s attorney Martin Singer said his client had “no recollection” of Khalighi’s request for help and disputed seeing her “protest.” The producer and music video director has also denied other sexual assault accusations against him.
This is the second sexual assault allegation hurled toward Simmons in as many weeks.
On Thursday, Nov. 9, Variety reported that police investigated Simmons and Ratner in 2001. That November, a 29-year-old woman filed a report saying “two men held her against her will and touched her unlawfully,” police told the publication.
Due to insufficient evidence, prosecutors declined to press charges.
Simmons also issued a statement in response to the report saying, “This is an important and critical time for the empowerment of women and men who have been harassed. I have been a public figure for all of my adult life. And when you are in that arena over decades, you can find yourself in a position where you are vulnerable and susceptible to claims that are untrue.”
Khalighi claimed in a text exchange that Simmons said the woman who filed that police report “has made a fortune on this racket.”
Despite his responses to the two accusations, Simmons told The Shade Room he’s concerned about how these takes will affect his relationship with his daughters. Still, he said he, “applauded the strength of the brave men and women who have spoken out over the past month and made their voices heard regarding sexual assault and harassment.”
That likely includes Terry Crews.