Just days after Russell Simmons fired back in his defense against claims of sexual assault, another woman has come forward with allegations against him.
In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, ‘Real Housewives of New York City” star Luann de Lesseps claimed, she too, was a victim of sexual misconduct at the hands of the media mogul. In fact, she said she had experienced sexually inappropriate behavior by men “throughout” her life, but the incident with Simmons reportedly took place just “three summers ago, at Soho Beach House, Miami.”
“He grabbed my ass in an elevator, he was just a pig,” de Lesseps said. “I haven’t told anybody about that before. I was grossed out. I was like ‘How dare you.’ He invaded me, he took advantage of me, being who he is, thinking he is all ‘it,’ all everything. He thought he could just do that. I looked at him and said, ‘Don’t ever do that again.’”
Although she claimed Simmons never apologized for the alleged incident, Simmons “vehemently” denied the accusations, as he provided his full statement to The Daily Beast.
Read the full statement below:
“They have shocked me to my core as I have never been abusive or violent in any way in my relations with women. 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.
“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 cannot accept is responsibility for what I have not done. The current allegations range from the patently untrue to the frivolous and hurtful. I have submitted myself to multiple lie detector tests. I denied forced sex and sexual harassment allegations brought against me in each test; I also answered no to the question, “Have you ever physically forced any woman to have sexual intercourse? I passed all of the lie detector tests.
“We have also provided a great deal of detailed evidence to various publications, but have chosen not to make it public, in part for my family and in part out of respect for the millions of women who have suffered sexual abuse, so as not to entangle a critically important social justice movement with every instance of my legitimate right to defend myself.
“Nevertheless, the presumption of innocent until proven guilty must not be replaced by ‘Guilty by Accusation. 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.”