Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons accused of engaging in sexual misconduct with Brett Ratner

The new allegations follow previous claims made against filmmaker Ratner

Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons has been accused of engaging in sexual misconduct with filmmaker Brett Ratner.

Several allegations of sexual misconduct have previously been made against Ratner. He has denied all of them.

The Los Angeles Times reports Keri Claussen Khalighi has now come forward with new claims involving Simmons and Ratner. She said she met the pair at a casting call when she was a 17-year-old model.

Russell Simmons Brett Ratner

Russell Simmons

Khalighi said the men took her to dinner one night in 1991 before they invited her to Simmons’ New York apartment to show her a music video they were working on. She claimed the music mogul made aggressive sexual advances towards her soon after they arrived at his home.

“I looked over at Brett and said, ‘Help me’, and I’ll never forget the look on his face,” she said. “In that moment, the realisation fell on me that they were in it together.”

She alleged Simmons tried to force her to have intercourse, but she “fought it wildly”. Khalighi said he stopped, but instead coerced her into performing oral sex. While this was happening, she said Ratner “just sat there and watched”.

Russell Simmons Brett Ratner

Brett Ratner

The woman said she felt “disgusting” so went to take a shower. She claimed that minutes later Simmons walked up behind her in the shower and briefly penetrated her without her consent. She said she jerked away and he left.

Both men have disputed her account. In a statement, Simmons said: “Everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation.” He added that much of the time they spent together over two days and one night was spent with other people, or in public.

Through his attorney Martin Singer, Ratner said he had “no recollection of Khalighi asking him for help, and denied seeing her “protest”.

  • For help, advice or more information regarding sexual assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.