$5M Suit: Simmons Knocked Me Down, Then 'Pounced'

Filmmaker Jennifer Jarosik says music mogul raped her at his LA home in 2016
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2018 7:11 AM CST
$5M Suit: Simmons Knocked Me Down, Then 'Pounced'
In this Feb. 6, 2015, file photo, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons presents an award at the NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena, Calif.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

At least a dozen women have already lobbed sexual harassment and rape allegations against music mogul Russell Simmons, and now another has come forward with her own sexual assault story—and she's suing. NBC News reports documentary filmmaker Jennifer Jarosik is seeking $5 million in damages from an assault she says happened during an August 2016 meeting at Simmons' LA home meant to discuss one of her films. Jarosik, 37, says when she got to his home, Simmons asked her to have sex, and when she refused, he pushed her down on a bed, then knocked her off of it and "pounced on her while she was still in shock and fear, and proceeded to rape her," per the complaint. The Blast, which first reported the lawsuit, notes Jarosik says she told some friends about what had happened, but she "felt somehow it was partially her fault since she was not strong enough to resist."

The complaint says Jarosik and Simmons met in 2006 and bonded over a shared "love and passion for meditation, yoga, and a vegan diet," per USA Today. Jarosik's lawyer calls out the "hypocrisy" of Simmons, who has stepped down from his businesses, for his peace-promoting lifestyle. "Mr. Simmons … is a longtime vegan practicing nonviolence against animals. So basically he treats animals better than women," Perry Wander said in a statement; the lawsuit references the "#TimesUp" movement several times. In a statement, Simmons says the "horrific accusations" have "shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual"—words he's echoed in a previous statement refuting assault allegations against him. "I have enormous respect for the women's movement worldwide," he adds. (The NYPD said last month it was looking into some of the allegations against Simmons.)

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