Russell Simmons accusers speak out on Megyn Kelly Today: 'I felt used'
Two of the 13 women alleging sexual assault and harassment against music mogul Russell Simmons appeared on Megyn Kelly Today to share their stories.
Natashia Williams-Blach and Sherri Hines sat down with host Megyn Kelly on Tuesday after they had both come forward in the Los Angeles Times report last week with allegations against Simmons, who has denied the claims. “These new stories range from the patently untrue to frivolous and hurtful claims,” he said to the Los Angeles Times last week. “I want to restate categorically what I have said previously: I have never been violent or abusive to any women in any way at any time in my entire life.”
Williams-Blach said she met Simmons while working on one of his movies, How to Be a Player. It was during that production timeline in 1997, she claimed, that Simmons attempted to force her to perform oral sex at his home, after taking her to a yoga class. She claimed that the only way she got out of hit was forcefully insisting that she needed to back to her dorm room to study at UCLA, where she was a freshman.
“Things quickly escalated to him coming into my space and putting his hands on my head, pulling it in, and I didn’t really have time to think much after that,” Williams-Blach told Kelly. “It’s all so fast. When you’re in that moment, there’s something psychosomatic that happens.”
Hines, a member of the all-female hip-hop group Mercedes Ladies, claimed Simmons raped her.
“It happened so fast the next thing I know is my pants were down and he was having his way,” Hines said of the alleged incident, which she said happened in 1993. “When he finished, I ran out of there and I was crying. I stood at the elevator for what looked like forever and I just couldn’t believe I was just violated like that. And more so, I felt embarrassed, I felt used.” Hines has been contacted by the NYPD about the open investigation into the claims against Simmons, seven of which occurred in New York City.
Since an initial report in mid-November when model Keri Claussen Khalighi came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Simmons, numerous other women, including screenwriter Jenny Lumet and fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone have accused the music mogul of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Simmons has denied the allegations and last week posted a statement on Instagram promising to “properly” defend himself.
“I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges. Today I will focus on ‘The Original Sin’ (Keri Claussen), the claim that created this insane pile on of my #MeToo. Stay tuned!” wrote the producer before adding, “My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in anyway, but instead hold my accusers accountable. #NotMe Again, this is not a movement against or even in conjunction with #Metoo . It’s just a statement about my innocence.”
You can watch the full video of the segment above.