The NYPD announced today that it's investigating the claims brought against Simmons, at least four of which involve rape. Though the music mogul and reality star has stepped down from his companies, he denies all charges and posted an Instagram today that said #notme, with a promise to "hold his accusers accountable." He specifically called out former model Keri Claussen, who alleged during an interview last month with Megyn Kelly that Simmons assaulted her when she was 17.
This denial is apparently what motivated Cutrone to come forward. "The #NotMe thing?" she said. "I'm going to do a #YeahYou. Fuck you."
Cutrone told Page Six that she and Simmons met at a party in 1991 and he invited her back to his apartment. She says she said no but agreed to go to a friend's apartment, which she now believes was actually Simmons'. When they got to the apartment, he assaulted her. "He pushed me into his apartment and then he threw me down on the floor and literally tried to grab … take my clothes off of me," she said.
"And I started kicking him really, really hard, screaming, telling him to get the fuck off of me," she added. "And that I would have him killed if he ever fucking laid a hand on me. I actually think I told him I would call Page Six! I was a publicist! I think I told him I would call Page Six and have him murdered."
Cutrone then says she ran out of the apartment and, like many sexual assault victims, didn't know whether to press charges or not.
"[Simmons] was just really shaken up and I fucking split," she said. "I remember running out the door and getting a cab and all I remember was that I got in a cab and I remember a feeling — which was so crazy — of, 'Oh my god. Somebody just tried to rape me. What do I do?' And then the energy of going to the police and pressing charges against him was overwhelming to me."
Simmons has been a highly influential figure in the music industry, cofounding the groundbreaking music label Def Jam which was home to acts like the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and LL Cool J, and later expanding his media empire to include clothing lines like Phat Farm and a reality show, "Run's House," that depicted "Uncle Rush" as a God-fearing family man. In stories published in the New York and Los Angeles Times, nine women accused Simmons of sexual harassment and assault over the decades, with some alleging he exploited his position as a powerful business and cultural leader to pressure and in some cases outright force them into sex.
"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," Simmons said in a statement to CNN. "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."
At the very least, Simmons does have a documented history of creeping, trying to shoot his shot at a much younger Chanel Iman on Instagram much to his daughter's embarrassment.
Men in the music industry have so far skirted the accountability that their counterparts in film, television and politics are currently being held to. A veteran music industry insider, speaking under the condition of anonymity told the Daily Beast that the Russell Simmons allegations are just the tip of the iceberg. "Russell Simmons is just the beginning," they said. "Men have been taking advantage of women in music for a long time."
Image via BFA