Yesterday the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times published investigative reports in which a total of nine women accused Russell Simmons of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to rape that spanned 30 years. After speaking to an anonymous source at the NYPD, the L.A. Times is reporting that detectives are beginning to contact the women who have accused Simmons. One of those women, Sherri Hines, who alleges that Simmons raped her in the early 1980s, told the Los Angeles paper that police had made contact with her earlier today. In addition to the nine women whose stories were published yesterday, model Keri Claussen Khalighi and screenwriter Jenny Lumet have also publicly accused Simmons of assault, bringing the total to 11 accusers. The NYPD contact told the L.A. Times, “We were made aware of the alleged crime through the media, and we anticipate there will be more who come forward.” The source added, “We’re in the process of setting up interviews and if any victims want to come forward, they should contact us.” The majority of the alleged crimes are said to have taken place in New York City, where Simmons lives.
Simmons did not respond to a request for comment from the Times, but in the past month he has denied any accusations of unlawful behavior, and said this morning in an Instagram post that he will now start to “properly” defend himself, and “prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges.” The main image of the post was simply a large text block that read “#NotMe.”