Def Jam Records co-founder and current All Def Digital head Russell Simmons was in the news early this week when the Los Angeles Times published allegations by model Keri Claussen Khalighi, who claimed Simmons forced her to have nonconsensual sex when she was 17.
At the time, Simmons responded with a short statement saying that "everything that happened between us was completely consensual."
On Wednesday, Simmons released a more detailed letter to the Hollywood Reporter. In it, he reiterates that what happened with Khalighi was consensual.
"In our meeting many years later, and subsequent conversations, Keri never accused me of what she has said publicly," he says. "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."
Later in the letter, Simmons apologizes for his "playboy" past. However, he says, "I never committed any acts of aggression or violence in my life. I would never knowingly cause fear or harm to anyone."
He ends by saying that he hopes for "a space where women and also men can heal, even if it means attacking me. I remain an activist for women's rights and all things unjust. This is my life's work and journey, and God knows my heart."
You can read the letter in its entirety here.