Russell Simmons says he will 'defend' himself after rape claims


NEW YORK (AP) — Music mogul Russell Simmons said on Instagram he plans to defend himself a day after a New York Times story published claims by three women saying he raped them.

The allegations in the newspaper's Wednesday report stem from the 1980s and 1990s. Simmons denied the allegations Wednesday and again today.

"Today, I begin to properly defend myself. I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges," Simmons wrote on Instagram.

Simmons posted his words under a photo that read #NotMe, explaining he isn't trying to go against the anti-harassment movement #MeToo, where millions have shared their stories about being sexually harassed and assaulted.

"My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in any way, but instead hold my accusers accountable," he wrote. "Again, this is not a movement against or even in conjunction with #MeToo. It's just a statement about my innocence."

The allegations in the Times story weren't the first to hit Simmons. Model Keri Claussen Khalighi said Simmons coerced her to perform a sex act and later penetrated her without her consent in 1991. Simmons said the sex with Klalighi was consensual.

"Today, I will focus on 'The Original Sin' [Keri Claussen], the claim that created this insane pile," Simmons wrote on Instagram. "Stay tuned! We'll share information today."

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