Russell Simmons Ends #NotMe Campaign as Two More Rape Accusers File Police Reports

SANTA MONICA, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Russell Simmons speaks onstage at the Environmental Media Association's 27th Annual EMA Awards at Barkar Hangar on September 23, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Environmental Media Association)
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Environmental Media Association

Russell Simmons has put the brakes on his #NotMe social media campaign as two more women have filed police reports accusing the music mogul of rape.

TMZ reported Tuesday that two women filed reports with the New York Police Department in December alleging that Simmons, 60, raped them in two separate incidents in 1983 and 1991.

One of the women named in the report is Sherri Hines, who previously detailed her claims against  the mogul in an appearance on Megyn Kelly’s NBC News show last month. Hines accused Simmons of raping her at his office in 1983.

The other woman who filed a police report has reportedly chosen to remain anonymous, but alleges that Simmons raped her in 1991 at his Manhattan apartment after the pair had gone out on a date.

Simmons — co-founder of influential record label Def Jam Records — has separately faced claims of sexual misconduct from nearly a dozen other women, including screenwriter Jenny Lumet, who claimed in a November essay that she was forced into sex with the mogul against her will in 1991.

Simmons announced in late November that he would step down from his business empire, Rush Communications, amid the allegations.

But in December, Simmons appeared to launch a new social media initiative, using the hashtag #NotMe, in an effort to prove his innocence. He also reportedly took a lie detector test over the first of the allegations, which his attorneys said he had passed.

“Today, I begin to properly defend myself. I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges,” he wrote in an Instagram post along with the hashtag. “My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in anyway, but instead hold my accusers accountable. Again, this is not a movement against or even in conjunction with #MeToo. It’s just a statement about my innocence.”

Now, however, Page Six reports that Simmons has put his #NotMe campaign on hold, with a representative for the mogul telling the outlet that he has decided “that this is a time for women to speak.”

“Mr. Simmons’ previous statements stand, and he has nothing to add to [them] at this time,” the rep told Page Six.

In the wake of the allegations, HBO and J.C. Penney both dropped their business relationships with Simmons.


Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum


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