At least three women say that they were raped by hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, who recently left his business empire following abuse allegations, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
The 60-year-old hip-hop legend denied the rape accusations — which date back to 1988 — and voiced support for the growing movement of women speaking out against abusive men.
Simmons announced on November 30 that he was stepping down from his business roles after two women accused him of assault, which he also denied.
But The New York Times article described an alleged pattern of behavior by the enormously influential Def Jam Recordings co-founder, who was accused of preying on women entering the industry.
Tina Baker, a singer who has performed back-up for Madonna and Bruce Springsteen, said Simmons was her manager when he invited her to his apartment in 1990 or 1991.
She told the newspaper that he pinned her down and raped her. The Times said the account was confirmed by four people close to her including her ex-husband and therapist.
In a statement, Smiley vehemently denied any misconduct and accused PBS of conducting “a biased and sloppy investigation, which led to a rush to judgment, and trampling on a reputation that I have spent an entire lifetime trying to establish.”
“To be clear I have never groped, coerced, or exposed myself inappropriately to any workplace colleague in my entire broadcast career, covering six networks over 30 years.”