Just hours after Russell Simmons attempted to exonerate himself on Instagram on Thursday, the New York Police Department made a public announcement that they were “reviewing information” pertaining to the multiple sexual assault allegations brought against the hip-hop mogul. Deadline reports that a law enforcement source has confirmed that Simmons will almost certainly be the subject of a formal investigation.
Simmons took to Instagram to invalidate the multiple allegations of rape and sexual misconduct brought against him. It’s not so much his attempt to defend himself, but his chosen medium, a bold #NOTME hashtag, that’s pissing people off. His post comes one day after the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times dropped stories detailing four women’s allegations that Simmons raped them between 1988 and 2014.
Simmons says in the post that #NotMe “isn’t a movement against or even in conjunction with #MeToo,” but simply a “statement about [his] innocence.” Why the hashtag then, homie? There’s also the fact that he refers to the allegations made by former model Keri Claussen Khalighi as “The Original Sin.” Khaligini had previously accused Simmons of raping her while Simmons’ friend, movie producer/director Brett Ratner, watched.
Founder of People’s Revolution Kelly Cutrone isn’t having any of Simmons’ #NotMe noise. She’s also the latest addition to the list of some 12 women alleging sexual misconduct or rape against the mogul. The PR executive, who’s appeared on MTV’s The Hills and America’s Next Top Model, says Simmons is trying to start a #NotMe movement to subvert the claims made as part of the #MeToo movement. “The #NotMe thing? I’m going to do #YeahYou. Fuck you.”
In an interview with Page Six, Cutrone alleges that Simmons tried to rape her after a party 1991. Kelly says Simmons lured her to his apartment, under the guise that they were stopping by one of his friend’s houses. “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. And I started kicking him really, really hard, screaming, telling him to get the fuck off of me. And that I would have him killed if he ever fucking laid a hand on me,” she told Page Six. Kelly’s friend, Tatijana Shoan, corroborates Cutrone’s claims, telling Page Six that she remembers Kelly telling her ex-husband (whom Shoan was dating at the time) about Simmons attack.
Despite his vehement public denials, Simmons already stepped down from all his companies last month.