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Woman Accuses Russell Simmons Of Rape In Lawsuit

LOS ANGELES (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A woman filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Russell Simmons, accusing the hip-hop mogul of raping her.

Jennifer Jarosik said in the lawsuit that she came to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of becoming a documentary filmmaker, and approached Simmons to be interviewed and to help her produce and finance a film.

The lawsuit said Jarosik met Simmons in 2006 in New York City, and he befriended her "as they shared a love and passion for meditation, yoga and a vegan diet."

Simmons later offered to be interviewed for Jarosik's documentary and also offered to co-produce and finance the film, the lawsuit said.

Jarosik later moved to Los Angeles, and around August 2016, Simmons invited her into his home, the lawsuit said. When Jarosik arrived, Simmons allegedly asked her to have sex and she said no, the suit alleged.

The suit claimed Simmons then got aggressive and knocked Jarosik off his bed, causing her to hit her head. Simmons then pounced on the woman "while she was still in shock and fear" and raped her, the lawsuit alleged.

The suit said Jarosik only disclosed the information to a few close friends such as her film director and editor. The suit further that she felt the incident was partially her fault because she was not strong enough to resist.

The suit accused Simmons of sexual assault and battery, and called for punitive and exemplary damages of $5 million.

Jarosik's attorney issued a statement, saying his client was the eighth woman to come forward: "Mr. Simmons is a longtime vegan, practicing nonviolence against animals. So basically he treats animals better than women. The hypocrisy has to stop now. It's not enough to step away from your business, convert a yoga studio into a nonprofit and be worth $500 million and not apologize and not make restitution."

In December, the NYPD announced that it had opened a preliminary investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Simmons – a day after three women told the New York Times that Simmons raped them.

In the wake of the December allegations, Simmons vehemently denied what he called "these horrific accusations," saying in a statement emailed to CBS2 that "all of my relations have been consensual."

Simmons also posted to Instagram in December: ``Today, I begin to properly defend myself. I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges."

He posted his words under a photo that read #NotMe, explaining that he isn't trying to going against the anti-harassment movement #MeToo, where millions have shared their stories about being sexually harassed and assaulted.

``My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in any way, but instead hold my accusers accountable,'' he wrote. ``Again, this is not a movement against or even in conjunction with #MeToo. It's just a statement about my innocence.''

The month before that, HBO said it would edit out any link to Simmons in its "All Def Comedy" show in the wake of an allegation by screenwriter Jenny Lumet, who said Simmons had sex with her more than two decades ago despite her repeated demands that he stop. Simmons said he had a different memory of the night but apologized and said he was stepping away from his companies.

Lumet said she went public after model Keri Claussen Khalighi said Simmons coerced her to perform a sex act and later penetrated her without her consent in his New York apartment in 1991. Simmons said the sex with Klalighi was consensual.

Simmons and Rick Rubin founded Def Jam Recordings was founded in 1984. It made stars of such hip-hop artists as LL Cool J, Slick Rick, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, and its roster currently includes Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Frank Ocean, Alessia Cara, Jeremih, Jeezy, Iggy Azalea, Big Sean, Nas and 2 Chainz.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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