NYPD opens Russell Simmons investigation following sexual misconduct allegations
The New York Police Department has opened an investigation of Russell Simmons following at least 12 accusations of sexual misconduct spanning three decades against the music mogul — seven of which allegedly occurred in New York City, PEOPLE has confirmed.
"The NYPD has received information regarding allegations involving Russell Simmons in the NYC area and our detectives are in the process of reviewing that information," Sgt. Brendan Ryan told PEOPLE Thursday.
Drew Dixon, Tina Baker and Toni Sallie — who were inspired to come forward after two other women presented their allegations last month and in the aftermath of the ongoing sexual misconduct scandals surrounding Hollywood — all accused the Def Jam co-founder of rape.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Simmons, 60,"fully supports and will cooperate with the police inquiry and is confident of a swift resolution."
Simmons "vehemently" denied the sexual assault allegations, saying that all his "relations have been consensual" and the "horrific accusations have shocked me to my core."
In an interview with The New York Times, Dixon said she was working her "dream job" as an executive at Def Jam Recordings in 1995 but allegedly dealt with "prolonged and aggressive sexual harassment" by Simmons.
According to Dixon, Simmons made sexual comments about her and asked her to sit on his lap during a staff meeting, in addition to regularly exposing his erect penis to her.
Dixon alleged he raped her one day in his Manhattan apartment. "I was broken," she told the Times, adding that he allegedly pinned her to his bed and she later woke up naked in his hot tub after blacking out despite not having alcohol.
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Baker told the Times Simmons allegedly raped her in late 1990 or early 1991 while at his apartment. She said Simmons poured drinks for her and attempted to kiss her; soon he was "on top of me, pushing me down and him saying, ‘Don't fight me,'" she said. "I did nothing, I shut my eyes and waited for it to end."
She said she later returned to his apartment since she was still tied to him professionally. During their business meeting, he allegedly pulled out his penis. "I didn't have sex with a man for almost nine years. I went into a cocoon," she said.
Baker is now a lawyer and said she later told her ex-husband, her psychologist, another therapist and a former roommate about the alleged rape.
Saille was a reporter at the time and told the New York Times she met Simmons while on assignment and that the two went on a few dates before she decided they were not a match.
In 1988, she was invited to his Manhattan apartment for a party held in honor of Simmons' then-girlfriend, but when she arrived, only Simmons was there, she told the outlet.
"He pushed me on the bed and jumped on top of me, and physically attacked me," she recalled. "We were fighting. I said no." Sallie reportedly told two friends and a colleague about the attack.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times also released Wednesday, singer Sherri Hines — who was part of the hip-hop group Mercedes Ladies — alleges Simmons raped her in his office around 1983 after running into him at a nightclub in New York.
According to Hines, she was 17 or 18 years old at the time and was "pinned" down by Simmons inside his office on his couch. "I was trying to fight him and he had his way. I left crying," she told the outlet.
Last month, Simmons announced that he was stepping down from the companies under his Rush Communications Inc. including Def Digital, Def Pictures and yoga business Tantris after Rachel Getting Married screenwriter Jenny Lumet, 50, penned a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter in November claiming Simmons assaulted her in 1991.
"You used your size to maneuver me, quickly, into the elevator," wrote Lumet in the column. "You pressed me into the corner with your body, your hands and your mouth."
After allegedly moving her into the bedroom and closing the door, "there was penetration," wrote Lumet, who allegedly kept the incident to herself until Oct. 27 this year.
Additionally, former model Keri Claussen Khalighi claimed she was 17 years old when Simmons forced her into having sex – while his friend, Brett Ratner watched, according to the LA Times.
"I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me' and I'll never forget the look on his face," she recalled. "In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together." She added, Ratner "just sat there and watched."
Simmons acknowledged having sex with Khalighi, but denied it was not consensual.
This article originally appeared on People.com