Kimora Lee Simmons Estranged Husband Posed as Ex-Wife in Emails to Star Relationship
Kimora Lee Simmons was initially on the side of her husband, Tim Leissner, in a fraud case against her hip-hop mogul ex, Russell Simmons — but things have drastically changed. Last year, Russell filed suit against the couple alleging Leissner used some of his shares in the Celsius energy drink company they shared so that Leissner could pay off his mounting debts. Leissner is currently up against a series of federal charges, including conspiracy to launder money in a separate case. Leissner and Kimora denied the charges and alleged that Russell had been aggressive and threatening toward her in the past. But now, Leissner may not be as squeaky clean as Kimora thought.
TMZ reports that in his money laundering case, Leissner testified under oath on Mar. 8 that he pretended for years to be his then-wife, Chinese heiress Judy Chan, and sent fake emails to his future wife Kimora when they began their relationship in order to trick her into believing his relationship with Chan was over. He admitted to the court that he convinced Kimora through the fraudulent emails that he and Chan were divorced.
It worked. The couple began dating and Kimora went as far as trying to blend their families by inviting Chan and her kids on multiple family vacations, which Leissner, posing as Chan, declined. Kimora and Leissner wed in 2014.
As it turns out, Lesissner admitted in court to faking divorce documents in order to marry Kimora. He was still married to Chan. Chan's family reportedly owns the top winery in China, as well as a coal-mining business.
Whether or not Kimora discovered Leissner's fake emails before he took the stand is unknown. But Kimora's lawyers note that she and Leissner are now estranged.
Kimora and Russell have historically had an amicable relationship. They share two children. After their divorce, they remained close friends, co-parents, and business partners. But Kimora seemingly took Leissner's side during Russell's claims against him.
Russell has been embattled in a sexual misconduct scandal that began years ago and reignited amid the Me Too Movement with dozens of women accusing him of rape and sexual intimidation. The allegations were the subject of an HBO documentary, On The Record. He denies all allegations against him.