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Simmons continues to stress that anything that happened between him and Keri Claussen Khalighi was consensual. In an open letter published in The Hollywood Reporter, he wrote that prior to Keri’s recent rape claims, she never once their interaction was violent before.
“In my case, three witnesses [Anthony McNair and two anonymous witnesses] have signed statements that our experiences that weekend with Keri Claussen Khalighi 26 years ago were consensual. My longtime loathing of any form of violence and abuse has been woven into all of my personal interactions, as most who know me will attest.
In our meeting many years later, and subsequent conversations, Keri never accused me of what she has said publicly. 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.”
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(Editors Note: It’s been noted that alleged victims of rape have been known to still speak with their attacker(s) after the fact for a range of reasons. Not to mention, they may never feel comfortable accusing that person of rape to their face–and with good reason. So whether she has said to him after the fact that the interaction was consensual, doesn’t mean the interaction was actually consensual. Because Khalighi is clear with the public and the police: Her interaction with Simmons was NOT consensual. And as we mentioned before, Simmons was 34-year-old at the time of this incident, while she was just 17.
Also, male witnesses signing statements saying that the incident was consensual should be taken with a grain of salt given how often in these types of situations, men protect other men and make excuses for one each other. Example: Russell Simmons emailed Terry Crews asking the actor to stop pursuing his complaints against the Hollywood agent that sexually assaulted him. He actually asked Crews to forgive Adam Venit and give him a pass so he can get his job back.)
Simmons continued his open letter by saying he admits that he has been problematic in the past, but yoga has helped him see the light.
“I have made choices that have offended some of the women in my life. It’s not cool to be a playboy and a new consciousness understands this. Now, as I hear these voices, I do as well. Though never abusive in any way, my remarks were often cavalier and thoughtless, and for this I am humbled. I am a work in progress. I am human. The fact that I come from the world of music or a specific place or generation justifies nothing.
That has been an ongoing deep transition in my life. As a yogi I believe intent is very important. My intent always came from a joyful, playful place. I can sleep at night because I know who I am. And I know who I was. I never committed any acts of aggression or violence in my life. I would never knowingly cause fear or harm to anyone. For any women from my past who I may have offended, I sincerely apologize. I am still evolving.”
He ends the piece stressing that he wants for their to be a gender shift in this country ( just not because of his situation, because he is innocent).
“I want that shift. It must lead to 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. To all the #MeToo campaigns and women around the world, I support your healing and will continue to be an honest and imperfect advocate for the voiceless (including animals) and humanity as a whole.”
As we previously reported, Khalighi, accused Simons of sexual assault and claimed that producer Brett Ratner allegedly watched the assault and did nothing.
Khalighi claims that the incident occurred at Simmons’ apartment in New York in 1991, when the music mogul “began making aggressive sexual advances” and took off her clothes while Ratner did nothing.
“I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face,” Khalighi said.
“In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.”
While Simmons is publicly denying these allegations, Khalighi says he has apologized to her in private.
As PEOPLE noted, Khalighi recently told the Today Show, “Russell and I have actually had a face-to-face confrontation around this, we’ve had phone conversations, where we have had a conversation about what happened, where there was no dispute of what we were talking about. We were both talking about what happened on that night and he actually apologized.”
She added, “And part of what is so confusing and retraumatizing is what he is speaking about privately with me, is completely different than what has come out publicly. And that is the piece that’s been really, really upsetting, disappointing and quite honestly, just repugnant with hypocrisy and the lies and the denial.”
BEAUTIES: What do you think about Russell Simmons recent statement?