Russell Simmons Pens Essay in Response to Sexual Assault Allegations

Russell Simmons has released a new response to Keri Claussen Khalighi's accusation of sexual harassment and assault. While Simmons still denies the allegation, he appears to be taking it seriously.

"Humanity is going through a powerful and wrenching shift of consciousness that I believe will ultimately lead to a mass awakening in all humankind," Simmons began. The essay goes on like that — reflecting on the changes in our world today through a macroscopic lens while addressing Khalighi's accusations only briefly.

"Three witnesses have signed statements that our experiences that weekend with Keri Claussen Khalighi 26 years ago were consensual," Simmons wrote. "In our meeting many years later, and subsequent conversations, Keri never accused me of what she has said publicly. She insisted I was not violent. She did tell me her boyfriend and many others found out about our long weekend together and she said she was ashamed by that discovery. I am sorry for the embarrassment she recounted to me."

Simmons mentions Khalighi and her accusations in two out of the eight paragraphs in his essay. The rest addresses misogyny as a wider problem, and how the world as a whole might go about facing it.

Simmons makes a few other generalized apologies in his statement. He writes: "I have made choices that have offended some of the women in my life... Though never abusive in any way, my remarks were often cavalier and thoughtless, and for this I am humbled. I am a work in progress. I am human."

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Khalighi has stood by her account of the weekend she spent in Simmons' apartment. This morning, in a live interview on Megyn Kelly Today, Khalighi said that sexual assaults don't follow a "cut-and-dry pattern," and that no matter what Simmons says of their encounter, it was not consensual.

Simmons' full essay was published by The Hollywood Reporter.