LAT: Russell Simmons & Brett Ratner sexually assaulted a young woman

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Here’s something no one needed today: the mental image of Russell Simmons and Brett Ratner assaulting teenage girls together. Like, Russell and Brett as a sexual assailant team, hunting for young models to abuse or rape. The LA Times published another exclusive in the ongoing “let’s out all of these sexual predators” movement. The LA Times has led the way in a lot of Ratner reporting, but this time, they got a victim statement from a woman claiming that Ratner merely watched as his surrogate father Russell Simmons tried to rape her.

Keri Claussen Khalighi was a 17-year-old fashion model from a farm town in Nebraska when she met Brett Ratner and Russell Simmons at a casting call. Ratner was an up-and-coming music video director and a protege of Simmons, the Def Jam Recordings mogul. They took Khalighi to dinner one night in 1991 at Mr. Chow in New York, and then back to Simmons’ apartment to show her a music video they’d been working on. Quickly, Simmons began making aggressive sexual advances, yanking off her clothes, Khalighi said.

“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.”

Khalighi said that Simmons, who was then about twice her age, tried to force her to have intercourse. “I fought it wildly,” she said. He eventually relented and coerced her to perform oral sex, she alleged. “I guess I just acquiesced.” Ratner, meanwhile, “just sat there and watched,” she said.

Feeling “disgusting,” Khalighi said she went to take a shower. Minutes later, she alleged, Simmons walked up behind her in the shower and briefly penetrated her without her consent. She said she jerked away, then he left. “It hurt so much.”

In a statement, Simmons, 60, strongly disputed her account. “Everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation,” he said. Much of the two days and one night he spent with her, he said, was with other people, or in public. Ratner had “no recollection” of Khalighi asking him for help and denied witnessing her “protest,” his attorney Martin Singer said. Ratner has also disputed the accounts of four other women who accused him of sexual misconduct in this story and a previous report by The Times that included the claims of six others, among them actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge.

[From The LA Times]

I believe Keri Claussen Khalighi. And it breaks my heart that Russell Simmons is a sexual predator, but yeah, I believe Keri. I wonder how many young women have stories similar to Keri’s about Brett Ratner, Russell Simmons, Harvey Weinstein, etc. The LA Times goes on detail Ratner’s long history of seeking out “father figures” within the music and film industry, and Ratner has often cited Russell, Roman Polanski and Robert Evans as those father surrogates.

Terry Crews tweeted this about Russell Simmons too – apparently, Simmons texted him that he (Terry) should forgive the man who sexually assaulted him.

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Photos courtesy of Getty.

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41 Responses to “LAT: Russell Simmons & Brett Ratner sexually assaulted a young woman”

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  1. detritus says:

    Didn’t Simmons start with Kimora when she was really, really young?

    And so much applause for Terry C, bae of the world, showing what happens behind closed doors.

    • M&M says:

      I was just thinking about that.
      There goes another person I admired.

    • V4Real says:

      Yes Simmons likes them really young. My heart broke hearing this, 17, wow, what if she was still a virgin. This should not have happened to her. F you Russell.

      Will this shit ever end?
      People think Hollywood is bad just wait until the shit comes out about the music industry.

    • Radley says:

      Terry Crews is proving to be one of the real ones. I’d take him over Trump, even if he was channeling President Camacho from Idiocracy.

      Brett Ratner’s “father figures” were Russell Simmons, Roman Polanski and Robert Evans?? Good Lord…

    • pinetree13 says:

      I just looked it up based on your comment. They started “dating” when she was 17 and NOT FINISHED HIGH SCHOOL YET and he was 35!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. Nicole says:

    Yep as soon as I saw that email Terry posted I knew something was coming about Simmons. Vile

  3. African Sun says:

    Russell uses that yoga, spirituality veneer to be a dick, no surprises.

    Most urban blogs covered this story with a ”lol you guys surprised”? He’s a creep and colour struck.

    • BlueSky says:

      If he is sending this type of email to Terry, imagine what other emails he has sent to women who have come forward with stories of sexual assault against his other “bros”

    • HK9 says:

      I saw that a lot yesterday and I thought wow I missed this completely. I’m glad she spoke up. I’m disgusted that this guy has two daughters and he acts like this. This is gross.

    • Odette says:


    • QueenB says:

      Yoga guys are a special kind of predators.

      • tw says:

        that’s the truth. ugh.

      • anon says:

        can we classify it please? yoga guys that preach : teach in the west are toxic. they all seem to be in it for moeny. i had plenty of good male teachers in india, as a teenager. of course they wouldn’t touch even my arms to adjust but they were decent men and very nice.
        why does everything have to be tainted by the bad sexual mores in the west?

  4. zuzusgirl says:

    I’m amazed anyone would be shocked at hearing Simmons was also a sexual predator, esp. a man of power in the music industry, a business rife with misogeny..

    • Betsy says:

      I never really paid attention. I don’t buy a lot of CDs. I don’t follow music blogs or news or gossip. I knew he was married to Kimora for a while and that’s it.

  5. KCo says:

    There’s an agent list making it’s way out any minute now… a lot of people here in LA have lawyered up…

  6. Harryg says:


    • Otaku Fairy says:

      The thought of people teaming up to do things like this is just disgusting. We know they’re not the only ones to collaborate like this in the industry though.

  7. This does not surprise me at all.

    My husband is so disgusted by all of this that he’s considering getting involved in an upstart agency that will represent talent in a safe environment and manner. I don’t really want him more in the industry than he already is (he does contractual law in the industry), but if it could make a difference…

    • CynicalAnn says:

      Good for your husband for trying to make a difference.

    • lucy2 says:

      I think that’s a good idea, and I’d imagine a lot of people would want to be represented by them. I can’t imagine how scary it must be, to trust someone with your career and find out that they basically feed you to predators. It would be great to have an agency really committed to protecting their clients.

  8. ELX says:

    I keep thinking of Chris Rock’s line, “ A man is only as faithful as his options,” and I wonder if dropping a man into an environment where he has a well-founded belief that he won’t suffer consequences will turn him into a rapist. Evil isn’t THE OTHER, it’s something of which we are all capable. These men have to learn that they will be destroyed if they do this because it sure looks like they are happy to get away with what they can get away with.

    • CynicalAnn says:

      I think you have to have a pretty strong ethical and moral compass to be in certain industries-entertainment, finance-with all of the “options.” My husband always relates the story of a bunch of Wall Street guys he works with renting a house in a tropical locale “providing” Russian hookers, and teasing him because he wouldn’t go.

  9. Tallia says:

    I believe her and his message to Terry Crews makes me even more sick to my stomach, if possible.

  10. DiligentDiva says:

    I really hope I don’t hear anything bad about Terry Crews, cause right now I’m loving the guy. Russell Simmons and Brett Ratner are disgusting pieces of sh!t

    • Domino says:

      He says at one time he made mistakes, so I suppose it is possible. But hopefully he apologized for his mistakes and made amends. Which is maybe why no one is coming out against him, so far.

  11. QueenB says:

    There must be so much more in the music world, specifically Rap and Rock. Underage groupies are almost the norm. I think that world could be even worse than movies.

  12. Ally says:

    So declining/resisting as a woman will get you drummed out of the industry and/or branded as crazy/difficult, but procuring fresh victims to your powerful mentors will make you a leading director of major movies. Just so we’re clear on how the meritocracy works.

    • Radley says:

      Yep, and branded a liar.

      This morning I watched the news and a Roy Moore supporter asked why it took so long for the accusers to come forward if these things really happened. It made me so mad. As if she (yes, she) weren’t well aware that coming forward is a scary and potential life ruining proposition that doesn’t guarantee a good outcome. The predator doesn’t even need to be rich or powerful. Even high school athletes have the community rallying around them as opposed to the victims.

      When I was in junior high, my sister who was a couple of years older, warned me to not sign up for gymnastics class. Why? Because the coach was a well known groper of underage girls. She knew. Her classmates knew. The school knew since they’d received complaints. But everyone protected him and not the 11, 12 and 13 year old girls he assaulted. He finally and suddenly disappeared when I was in 8th grade after he digitally penetrated a 13 year old under the guise of coaching her balance beam routine. Her parents immediately lawyered up. He left the school system and opened a gym.

      So yeah, don’t ask why victims don’t immediately come forward. Sometimes they do but any kind of justice never comes.

  13. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I would like to say that I’m surprised or shocked by this but I’m not. None of this stuff is surprising to me anymore. I’m at a point of saying, “him too? Ok round his *ss up too.” I have no expectations about who celebs are as people anymore. And I think that’s a healthy thing. I believe the victim. I dont doubt a single part of her story. And I think what Simmons wrote to Terry Crews is very telling about his own behavior and his MO with victims .

  14. Curious says:

    Ratner has how many allegations against him by now? And still no law suit?

    • Escaped Convent says:

      That’s what I’d like to know. Lawsuits and criminal charges. He totally has that coming.

      I truly hope he doesn’t get away with it.

  15. D says:

    not victim blaming but can we pinpoint things that make no sense…1.late night and you go with 2 men to an apartment. 2 you’re forced into giving FELLATIO and instead of leaving you felt disgusted and chose to stay and take a shower….ok

    • lucy2 says:

      How, exactly, is that not victim blaming?

    • Menlisa says:

      You are victim blaming.

    • pinetree13 says:

      Yes because every 17 year old is wordly enough to know that professional men in high ranking positions can’t necessarily be trusted. Yes let’s blame her actions and not the two disgusting creeps double her age that joined up to trick her into a trap under the guise of casting her in a music video something teenagers would all jump at.

  16. Patty says:

    Every woman should study the Triangle of Crime.

  17. lucy2 says:

    I don’t know very much about Simmons, but that email to Terry Crews tells me all I need to know. And Ratner has always skeeved me out, so I’m not one bit surprised by any and all accusations against him. I hope charges are filed on him at some point.

  18. Kay says:

    It’s always been evident to me that Russell is a creep. His yoga shit is just another way to get access to young hot chicks under the guise of spirituality and self-improvement.

    • anon says:

      exactly! as a hindu i was always skeptical of him and the bikram yogi guy. acting as if they are guided by spirituality and yogic philosophy.well, true yogis aren’t allowed casual, mindless sex or hedonism of any kind.