A woman claimed she was 17 when music mogul Russell Simmons sexually assaulted her – and director Brett Ratner watched the attack.
Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Keri Claussen Khalighi said she met Ratner and Simmons in 1991 during a casting call. The then-aspiring model claimed the pair invited her to dinner in New York and then Simmons’ apartment to view a music video they were working on.
Khalighi stated that Simmons forced himself on her and yanked off her clothes immediately after they entered his apartment. She described “wildly” fighting off Simmons with no success.
She was a teenager who had just left a farm town in Nebraska with the hope of breaking into the modeling industry. pic.twitter.com/ctOHIOdTF7
— Amy Kaufman (@AmyKinLA) November 19, 2017
“I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face,” she recounted.
“In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.”
She went on to tell the Times that Simmons, who was twice her age at the time, forced her to perform oral sex on him as Ratner “just sat there and watched.”
The model claimed she went to take a shower and, minutes later, Simmons approached her from behind and penetrated her.
“It hurt so much,” she said.
Khalighi claimed she confronted both men at separate times about the alleged incident and that they apologized for their actions.
“He [Ratner] said he was young and stupid and blinded by Russell’s sway over him,” she recalled.
However, Simmons and Ratner are now publicly denying the allegations against them. In a statement issued to the newspaper, Simmons, now 60, claimed the 1991 encounter was consensual. He also said that most of the two days and one night he spent with her was in a group setting.
“Everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation.”
Through his attorney, Ratner–who multiple women have accused of sexual misconduct–said he never heard Khalighi ask for help and denied seeing her “protest” Simmons’ advances.
In light of the most recent allegations, Terry Crews presented an email screenshot where Simmons supposedly instructed Crews to give “a pass” to the agent that he says groped him. As CrimeOnline previously reported, Crews said that WME agent Adam Venit grabbed his genitals during an industry event last year. The Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor reported the incident to the LAPD in early November and said he intends to file a civil suit against Venit.
“Dear @UncleRush, NO ONE GETS A PASS,” Crews wrote to Simmons Sunday.
Message Russell Simmons sent to me regarding my sexual assault case against Adam Venit of @WME:
— terrycrews (@terrycrews) November 19, 2017
[Featured Image: Russell Simmons and Brett Ratner/Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Warner Bros./AP Images]