(WSVN) - A total of four women have made allegations of sexual assault against music mogul Russell Simmons, and two of those women said the incidents happened in South Florida.
According to a New York Times article, one of the alleged victims claimed Simmons raped her in 1988. She told the Times that Simmons then made a second attempt a year later during a music conference in Miami.
The latest allegation comes from a woman who said she encountered Simmons in 2014 at a Miami Beach hotel where he was co-hosting an Art Basel event. The woman told the Times that Simmons led her and a friend up to his room, where he pushed her up against a column.
She described the encounter in the Times article, “…hands all over my body, up and down … I felt assaulted,” she said.
She claimed Simmons then threatened to tie her up, and that’s when she ran away.
Simmons responded to the Times article with a statement that read, “The current allegations sent to me by the New York Times range from patently untrue to frivolous and hurtful. The presumption of innocent until proven guilty must not be replaced by ‘guilty by accusation.'”
In recent months, there have been numerous allegations of assault against men in positions of power in the entertainment industry.
“I think what we’re seeing is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Florida International University College of Law professor Kerri Stone, who specializes in sexual harassment. “I think there’s a huge momentum. There’s a sense that women are vindicating their rights, we’re seeing justice finally done, we’re putting an end to behavior that’s been shrouded in secrecy for decades.”
Experts said Simmons won’t be the last of the powerful men accused of behaving badly. “I think this barrage of accusations and this toppling of very powerful men on these very large stages is just the beginning,” said Stone.
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