Russell Simmons doesn’t agree with his daughter Aoki’s take on his mental health.
The former hip-hop mogul slammed his younger daughter’s remarks in a recent episode of In Depth with Graham Bensinger and addressed his relationship with his kids, 21-year-old Aoki and 23-year-old Ming.
“The only thing that affects me about this is my children being upset with me,” the 66-year-old said. “I love them more than I love everything. And when my children have a narrative about me that’s not accurate, and when my children publicly say that I haven’t acted well—I’ve always been the one to hold space for them. They know they can curse me out, yell at me—they know that I love them unconditionally. I cannot unlove them.”
He then directly touched on Aoki’s claims of him being mentally unwell.
“Do I seem mentally ill to you?” he asked Bensinger. “Yesterday, you were with me when my daughter texted me. Tomorrow, I close on [my daughters’] new apartment.”
He continued, “To say that I’m a deadbeat when I paid $50,000 a month for 20 years—and I still pay. And I’m still signing a new lease for the two of them so they can live in Manhattan, so one can model and the other one can go back to school.”
Aoki unleashed on her dad around Father’s Day this year, after he became upset that Ming wished their mother, Kimora Lee Simmons, a Happy Father’s Day on Instagram.
A since-deleted post on Aoki's page was captioned, “He lashes out at ANYONE who does not say 'Oh Russell everything is fine.' Well, it's not fine. If 'I never get a fashion job again' like he threatens, I'll be a lawyer I guess, and work in criminal Justice. Sure I love my job but if he takes it away from me I won't die. You don't threaten my sister and grandma and mother and say, ‘Who's gonna believe you I'm Russell Simmons nobody thinks I'm crazy. ‘Well, he is.”
She spoke more about her dad on her IG Story. "He's been directly harmful TO ME," she wrote. “Some of us do think he's mentally ill or experiencing something like dementia, he really acts like he hates and does not know his children frequently. Prior to his media issues, he was really the best dad ever and a great co-parent. He and my mom were best friends. We all defended him against anything, and then he suddenly turned on ANYONE who will let him lash out. It's a really just terrifying change to watch."