Shine My Crown Read by Alexa
In 2017, several women stepped forward to Russell Simmons of sexual misconduct allegations.
Since 2017, at least 20 women have made similar allegations. Simmons was forced to relinquish his leadership roles in “all the companies I founded.” He soon fled to Bali. His public image in tatters. While many turned their backs on Simmons, his ex-wife and mother of two of his children, Kimora Lee Simmons posted a statement of support on Instagram.
“I add my voice to the chorus of those speaking out against sexual harassment in all its forms,” her statement begins. “I have known Russell for over 25 years. We were close friends, married, divorced and have remained friends, co-parents and partners throughout it all.”
She concluded, “These allegations against him are nothing like the person I have known in all that time. I have known him to be a caring and supporting father and someone who has worked tirelessly to uplift disenfranchised communities.”
Fast-forward four years later, Kimora finds herself on the receiving end of Simmon’s gratitude.
Her ex-husband has filed a lawsuit against her. He says the model stole shares of stock to bail her new husband, Tim Leissner, out of jail.
Leissner pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit money laundering for the theft of billions of dollars from Malaysian wealth fund 1MDB in 2018. According to Forbes, Leissner agreed to forfeit nearly $44 million to avoid jail time.
Russell pulls no punches in the documents filed to the court.
“Awaiting his plea deal and sentencing, Defendants Leissner and Lee, knowing full well that they would be required to pay tens of millions for bail and possible victim compensation, conspired and effectuated… an unlawful fraudulent scheme,” Simmons’ lawsuit states, accusing the duo of stealing the Celsius stocks. He calls their alleged actions an “extortion attempt.”
The language is harsh. Not like the tactfully worded statement of support issued by Kimora at the height of his rape scandal.
Russell has vehemently denied all allegations of rape and sexual misconduct. In 2020, HBO released the documentary “On The Record.”
The documentary tells the story of former A&R executive Drew Dixon, whose career was derailed by the alleged abuse she says she faced. Sil Lai Abrams and Sheri Sher also detailed their personal experiences with the Def Jam founder. The charming, supportive, ambitious businessman turning on them like a viper when he doesn’t get his way.
And Kimora is no exception. By defending Russell during the peak of the #metoo media storm, she essentially put her reputation in jeopardy. The social media cancel culture has been quick to ax perceived “rape apologists.”
It couldn’t have been worth it.
Russ is not affording her the same grace.
“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,” the filing reads.
He is requesting a trial by jury.