Business News Industry People Legal

Russell Simmons accuser says the Def Jam co-founder is hiding out in Indonesia

By | Published on Tuesday 16 April 2019

Russell Simmons

A woman who accuses Russell Simmons of rape has alleged that the one time hip hop mogul is now hiding out in Indonesia because the country does not have an extradition treaty with the United States. His extended stay in Bali has apparently scuppered efforts by the accuser to force the music industry exec to participate in a deposition under oath.

Various accusations of rape and sexual harassment were made against Simmons last year in the wake of the #MeToo movement. A number of women came forward after model Keri Claussen Khalighi and screenwriter Jenny Lumet went public with their allegations in November 2017. Two lawsuits followed, though one was subsequently dismissed at the request of both parties a few months later.

In the lawsuit that is ongoing, an unnamed woman says Simmons raped her in 1988. She claims that she met the Def Jam co-founder while at a concert with her son, and that later that same night he pressured her to accompany him to his hotel room. Which is where she alleges the rape took place.

Simmons denies the allegations and has tried to have the lawsuit dismissed, citing the statute of limitations relating to allegations of sexual assault.

The woman pursuing the litigation says she has a legitimate case, which is why – she now alleges, according to The Blast – Simmons has “fled to Indonesia which has no extradition treaty with the United States in an apparent attempt to protect himself”.

Confirming that a bid to force Simmons to take part in a deposition had so far failed, the accuser adds: “It is unlikely he will return to the United States to be deposed in this case and face arrest and imprisonment”.

The gossip site points out that Simmons has travelled to Bali many times over the years, though it reckons that the current stay has been longer than usual after he announced last year that he was taking a sabbatical from his business ventures to work on his “personal growth, spiritual learning and above all listening”.

However, a spokesperson for Simmons insists that, despite said sabbatical, he has in fact been returning to the US on a regular basis.

The spokesperson told reporters: “The accusation that Mr Simmons has traveled to Bali many times over the years but, in the midst of multiple accusations last year, has not yet returned is false. The fact is Mr Simmons has been in and out of the United States six times in the last year and will be back for his child’s graduation”.

To that end, the spokesperson added, the idea that Simmons is “hiding out” in Indonesia is false. They said: “The anonymous accuser’s assertion that Mr Simmons is hiding out in Bali, a country that does not have any extradition treaty with the United States, is false, as are her other accusations against Mr Simmons, which she claims took place 31 years ago”.

UPDATE 17 Apr 2019, 07.00: The statement from Russell Simmons’ representative was added.