Kimora Lee Calls Lawsuit From Ex-Husband Russell Simmons a 'Desperate PR Ploy’

Russell Simmons is suing his ex-wife, Kimora Lee Simmons, and her husband, Tim Leissner, for allegedly stealing stocks he had in the energy drink Celsius.

Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee
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Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/FilmMagic

Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee

Just two days after Russell Simmons filed a lawuit against his ex-wife, claiming that she stole shares of stock to help bail her new husband out of jail, Kimora Lee Simmons’ legal team responded with a statement on Friday. 

“Kimora and her children are shocked by the extortive harassment coming from her ex-husband, Russell Simmons, who has decided to sue her for shares and dividends of Celsius stock in which Kimora and Tim Leissner invested millions of dollars,” the statement read. “This is an ill-advised attempt by Russell to use the legal system to access funds he is in no way entitled to, and which his own legal team confirms Russell did not pay for.

“Russell’s continued aggressive behavior not only blatantly distorts the facts, but is simply a desperate PR ploy ignoring the years of mental and emotional anguish, gas lighting, and ongoing harassment he has inflicted on Kimora,” the statement continued. “Russell will be held accountable for his serial abuse and we will confront his baseless claims that he is warranted Celsius stock dividends despite his self-admitted zero contribution. This extortion attempt is especially egregious given that Russell remains contractually in debt to Kimora for millions of dollars in unpaid business loans. Our team is actively working to put a firm end to his harassment, which continues despite Russell having fled the country – he will face his own reckoning in the US court.”

According to court documents, Simmons alleges that Lee and Leissner unlawfully transferred Russell’s funds to their account in 2018. Russell says he didn’t become aware of the transaction until July 2019. 

Leissner pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit money laundering in the theft of billions from 1MDB, a Malaysian wealth fund. Tim forfeited around $44 million to avoid jail time, Forbes reported.

“I am shocked and saddened to see how your side has behaved in response to my repeated attempts to get an agreement from you to rightfully and legally reaffirm my 50% of the Celsius shares, which have been locked up with the government after being used for your husband’s bail money,” Russell wrote in a statement. “This, by the way, having been done under an illegal transfer of my funds that I had no knowledge of and would have never agreed to.”

Simmons and Lee were married from 1998 to 2009, although they split in 2006. The two share daughters Ming, 21, and Aoki, 18, and had been amicable business partners since their divorce.

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