Russell Simmons is now the subject of an NYPD investigation, with 12 women accusing the music mogul of sexual misconduct including rape. The investigation was launched based on accounts published by the Los Angeles Times and New York Times this week, reports CNN. "We were made aware of the alleged crime through the media, and we anticipate there will be more who come forward," an NYPD source tells the LA Times, which notes that at least seven of the encounters are alleged to have occurred in New York City. "We're in the process of setting up interviews and if any victims want to come forward, they should contact us." Sherri Hines, who claims the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings raped her in his New York office in 1983, says she was contacted by police on Thursday.
Simmons—who "supports and will cooperate with the police inquiry," according to his lawyer—vowed to defend himself Thursday with an Instagram post featuring a giant "#NotMe" atop it. "I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges," he wrote. "My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in anyway, but instead hold my accusers accountable." Meanwhile, fashion publicist and former America's Next Top Model judge Kelly Cutrone tells Page Six that Simmons tried to rape her in 1991. When she refused to go to his apartment, Cutrone says he drove her there anyway, pushed her inside, "threw me down on the floor and literally tried to … take my clothes off of me." She says she fought against him, then ran out the door.