Former Def Jam Executive Sues Russell Simmons for Sexual Harassment and Battery

A former Def Jam executive, identified as Jane Doe, has filed a lawsuit against Russell Simmons, the embattled founder of the record label, alleging sexual harassment and battery. According to court documents obtained by Rolling Stone, Doe claims that Simmons sexually assaulted her in the 1990s, using a “wrestling move” to pin her to a bed in his New York apartment and subsequently raping her.

This latest lawsuit adds to the growing number of women accusing Simmons of sexual assault or harassment, bringing the total to 20. Doe, who joined Def Jam as a senior-level music executive in the mid-1990s, asserts that Simmons disrupted and derailed her career following the alleged assault. The listed causes of action in the lawsuit include sexual battery/assault, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The lawsuit details a pattern of harassment by Simmons, with the plaintiff claiming that he would frequently invade her personal space at work, making sexual innuendos, suggestions, and advances. On the day of the alleged assault, Doe was required to visit Simmons’ apartment to review a music video she had produced. While going to Simmons’ apartment for work was common, this particular incident took a disturbing turn. Simmons initially attempted to appear playful by engaging in a wrestling match with Doe, but the situation escalated into aggression. Despite Doe’s repeated pleas for him to stop, Simmons allegedly refused and proceeded to rape her.

Following the assault, the plaintiff experienced overwhelming anxiety, shame, humiliation, and debilitating low self-esteem. Eventually, she quit her job in 1997 and relocated to California. Despite finding employment in the entertainment industry, the trauma caused by the incident with Simmons made it challenging for her to handle work and stressful situations with male employers. The lawsuit states that she left three jobs within a two-year period and was subsequently diagnosed with general anxiety disorder after seeking therapy.

Doe decided to come forward with her allegations after witnessing other survivors share their experiences, realizing the similarities to her own encounter with Simmons. Notably, Drew Dixon, who had previously accused Simmons of sexual assault, has also sued record executive L.A. Reid for similar allegations.

The lawsuit claims that Doe encountered Simmons on multiple occasions since the assault, including as recently as March 2023 at a yoga class in Los Angeles. Shocked to see him, Doe unknowingly placed her yoga mat next to Simmons’, prompting her to ask if she could practice there. Allegedly, Simmons responded with a crude remark, indicating his lack of remorse and understanding of the assault’s wrongfulness.

 

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. Did you know that according to a study conducted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), approximately 75% of workplace harassment incidents go unreported? This statistic highlights the importance of supporting and believing survivors who come forward with allegations, as it takes immense courage to speak out against powerful individuals.

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