Russell Simmons penned an open letter regarding the sexual assault allegations that have been leveled against him and others.
Keri Claussen Khalighi, a former model, has said that she was sexually assaulted by the music legend when she was 17.
“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 wrote.
“Like all lasting change, this transition is filled with painful disruption and confrontation against an entrenched system. It may sound odd to some that I am encouraged about this time in our history, but I am,” he added.
“The daily news detailing the growing number of experiences of women being victimized are being brought to the light. I do not doubt that the vast majority of the allegations these brave survivors are sharing are true and dignified. I see their stories giving a voice to the voiceless, which has been the central theme of my life’s journey.”
I also know from recent painful personal experience that some recollections can be cast in a light away from the actual facts. In my case, three witnesses [Anthony McNair and two anonymous witnesses] have signed statements that our experiences that weekend with Keri Claussen Khalighi 26 years ago were consensual. My longtime loathing of any form of violence and abuse has been woven into all of my personal interactions, as most who know me will attest.
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.
He didn’t actually admit that the allegations against him were true, saying, “I also know from recent painful personal experience that some recollections can be cast in a light away from the actual facts.
“I never committed any acts of aggression or violence in my life. I would never knowingly cause fear or harm to anyone. For any women from my past who I may have offended, I sincerely apologize. I am still evolving.”