Russell Simmons Breaks Silence on Assault and Rape Allegations

The Def Jam co-founder conducted an interview with ‘In Depth with Graham Bensinger.’

Russell Simmons is denying allegations that he raped or sexually assaulted at least a dozen women over the course of several decades.

The Def Jam Recordings co-founder sat down with “In Depth with Graham Bensinger” for a wide-ranging interview about the allegations that surfaced in 2017. Several clips from the discussion surfaced Wednesday (Dec.  6), in which he discussed his career in the music industry, relationship with his ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons and their two children, as well as the allegations.

"I've never been violent to anybody," the 66-year-old said. "Of course I've been insensitive, but certainly never been forceful in any of my relationships, all of which I've had have been consensual."

Russell Simmons is ‘Deeply Sorry’ After Public Feud with Daughters and Ex-Wife

Russell Simmons is ‘Deeply Sorry’ After Public Feud with Daughters and Ex-Wife

Simmons, who currently resides in Bali, Indonesia, called the #MeToo movement – which grew in part due to the allegations against him – “a great movement.” He also noted that he hasn’t “spoken to anyone for five years.”

"It's ruined my life," he said of the 2017 allegations. "It's ruined my relationships with everything. All my five charities have gone down."

Simmons went on to reveal he's slept with "thousands" of people and that he "was in so many compromising situations that people can have a recollection from 30 or 40 years ago, and it can be different from my recollection."

Additionally, the music mogul noted that the number of sexual partners he’s had over the years was partially due to the culture at the time.

 "I think that the culture and the climate was different, and the way people interacted was different,” he said. “I think to judge 40 years ago as if it was today, we get in trouble."

"We have to accept where we were and move on and be somewhere else in the future if we don't like where we were. And I think we're doing that now. And I think that's the good that comes with #MeToo."

"It's a great movement," he added. "It's done a lot of great work for women. It sensitized men in ways they were not sensitized, and for that I'm grateful."

Simmons’ interview with Bensinger was conducted in September in Bali and is slated to broadcast in syndication this weekend.

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