Russell Simmons Accused Of Rape By Alexia Norton Jones

Another woman has come forward claiming that she was sexually assaulted by former rap impresario Russell Simmons. Alexia Norton Jones, granddaughter of late book publisher W.W. Norton and daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. attorney/speechwriter Clarence Jones, claims in an interview with Variety that at the end of a date with Simmons in November 1990, the Def Jam Recordings co-founder invited her to see his new Manhattan apartment, where she claims he then pinned her against a wall and raped her.

“It was such a fast attack. He pulled my dress up. I must have said ‘no’ seven to 10 times,” she told Variety. After leaving the apartment upset and in shock, Jones, then a 31-year-old aspiring model and actress, said that Simmons kept calling her and pursuing her at social events; Simmons was reportedly friendly with Jones’ father. Though she said she forgave Simmons after several years, Jones, who now lives in Arizona, filed a police report with the NYPD in the spring.

The incident is outside the statute of limitations for felony prosecution in New York, but Jones said she decided to file in order to stand in solidarity with the more than a dozen women who have accused Simmons of sexual assault or rape to date. Simmons has denied all the allegations and stepped away from the daily management of his companies. The onetime CEO of Rush Communications issued a statement to Billboard denying Jones’ assault claims.

“I have respectfully, factually, and comprehensively denied the charges of sexual violence against me,” he said. “From the very first allegation in October, I have provided statements of witnesses who testified to my innocence some thirty years ago. Most witnesses from years back were and remain afraid for their standing, their families and their professions. It is certainly true that there were and remain hurdles to calling out abusers. I have said from day one that I support and advocate truth telling and holding abusers fully to account.”

In a separate statement to Variety, Simmons said he was “deeply saddened by this story from Alexia,” adding that she had never shared her feelings about their first sexual encounter with him and noting that he has taken multiple lie detector tests to affirm that he has never sexually assaulted anyone. Further, he said the two dated, were intimate, attended a number of events together after the alleged 1990 incident and that he considered her a friend for all these years. He said they last spoke in 2006 when she “called to express her disappointment over the fact that I had not attended an event honoring her father.”

A spokesperson for Simmons also gave Variety a written statement from Kenneth L. Jennings, who has been Simmons’ driver since 1989. “I recall driving Mr. Simmons and Alexia Jones on about 10 to 12 dates in or about 1990. Their relationship lasted approximately five months,” he said.

Jones, who said she was a survivor of sexual abuse as a teenager, denied dating Simmons, but affirmed that she called him more than a dozen years ago to ask why he hadn’t attended an event honoring her father. Though she never told her father about the alleged assault by Simmons, Jones said she discussed it with her therapist, who confirmed to Variety that Jones spoke with her in the early ’90s about the alleged attack. Click here to read Jones’ full account of the alleged incident.

To date, Simmons has been accused of sexual assault or rape by 16 women, including then-teenage model Keri Claussen Khalighi, publicist/author Kelly Cutrone, music journalist Toni Sallie, actress Natashia Williams-Blach, Lisa Kirk, screenwriter Jenny Lumet, filmmaker Jennifer Jarosik, former music exec Drew Dixon, singer Tina Baker, musician Sherri Hines, and reality TV star Luann de Lesseps.

This article originally appeared on Billboard.