California judge tosses sexual assault suit against Russell Simmons
By Stacy M. Brown
Senior National Correspondent
A California judge has tossed out a $10 million lawsuit, alleging sexual assault, against hip-hop icon and business mogul Russell Simmons.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Epstein granted Simmons’ attorneys’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit after the alleged victim, chose to remain anonymous. The judge said that he found that the woman’s claims were legally time-barred since the alleged the incident occurred in 1988, and her suit wasn’t filed until March 2018.
“Plaintiff has incontrovertibly admitted that the alleged incident occurred in 1988,” the judge wrote in the ruling released this week.” In calculating the limitations period…she would have had to file her action in 1998.”
“Having received no response from plaintiff during the two weeks following the entry of that minute order … judgment is hereby entered in favor of the defendant, Russell Simmons,” Epstein wrote.
Simmons, who faced several allegations of sexual assault dating back to the 1980s, has always maintained his innocence, and his representatives routinely have held up the Def Jam Records founder’s lifelong contributions and advocacy for women’s rights.
After starting Def Jam Records, Simmons hired Carmen Ashurst as the label’s president.
Ashurst’s hiring as the only woman to head Def Jam, made history as no other major music label employed a woman as its president.
Simmons’ spokeswoman, Thomasina Perkins, of Capitol Public Relations in Washington, D.C., said her client was pleased with Epstein’s decision.
“We are grateful for the ruling made in this case, although it was dismissed on a technicality, my client has always maintained — and upon review it is clear — he has never met this woman; nor has she produced anyone with whom she has told the story in over 33 years,” Perkins remarked.
“Mr. Simmons continues to be in full support of women and what they bring to the world. There have been generations and generations of trauma and injustice … it is time for constructive dialogue and healing to begin. This particularly important dialogue will help move the women’s movement to its next phase,” Perkins added.
Perkins continued, noting that “Russell Simmons has stated God whispered in his ear; that one day he will be an active part of the healing and the necessary bridge-building process. He is praying for a healthier world for his daughters to inhabit.”
She further noted that Simmons remains focused on promoting a post-pandemic lifestyle for those dying of preventable pre-existing health conditions.
“As he has stated to me on numerous occasions, there is so much work to be done,” she offered. “My job is to ensure Mr. Simmons goes about doing the work of promoting the lifestyle changes that I’m sure will save lives.”