Former Model Keri Claussen Khalighi Claims Russell Simmons Apologized Privately for Sexual Misconduct
Amid the recent allegations of sexual harassment, misconduct and rape being brought to light in Hollywood and the entertainment industry, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has found himself at the center of accusations he has since publicly denied.
As previously reported, former model Keri Claussen Khalighi came forward to detail an incident taking place in 1991, during which she claims Simmons, who would've been 34 at the time, sexually assaulted her when she was 17 in his apartment while director Brett Ratner sat and watched. Most recently, the model has revealed in a televised interview on Megyn Kelly TODAY that Simmons apologized to her in private.
“Russell and I have actually had a face-to-face confrontation about what happened, we’ve had phone conversations where there was no dispute about what we were talking about,” Khalighi shared in a recent interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly. “And he actually apologized.”
She also explained how Simmons’ recent statement refuting the claims has had an effect on her personally.
“Part of what’s so confusing and re-traumatizing is that what he’s speaking about privately with me is completely different from what’s come out publicly,” Khalighi continued.”That’s the piece that’s been, quite honestly, repugnant with hypocrisy and the lies and the denial.”
Additionally, Khalighi explained the reasoning behind why, in her initial recount of the alleged incident, she didn’t leave after the first assault, adding she was hoping to normalize “what was an incredibly hard-to-process situation in the moment, as a 17-year-old.”
“After the oral sex part of the story, I stayed,” she explained, revisiting the details of the incident. “I didn’t run out. I stayed and I took a shower and an additional sexual assault happened there. [Victims don’t always follow] a cut-and-dried, black-and-white storyline...I’ve learned in a lot of the work I’ve done around this issue there’s a whole spectrum, a variety of response of fight, flight or freeze. I certainly froze. I did what I could to normalize what was an incredibly hard-to-process situation in the moment, as a 17-year-old.”
Uncle Rush has since vehemently denied any wrongdoing, responding to the claims in a lengthy statement, adding, “Everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation.”
In other related news, Simmons recently announced he is working on a new film centering on rap legend T La Rock.
See Keri Claussen Khalighi recall the alleged incident with Russell Simmons on Megyn Kelly TODAY in the clip below.