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Russell Simmons Allegedly Assaulted 17-Year-Old Model While Brett Ratner Watched

A woman is accusing Russell Simmons of sexually assaulting her in a casting call during which film producer Brett Ratner allegedly watched and did nothing. Keri Claussen Khalighi tells the Los Angeles Times that the incident occurred at Simmons’ apartment in New York in 1991 when she was 17 years old, when Simmons “began making aggressive sexual advances” and took off her clothes while Ratner did nothing. “I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me’ and I'll never forget the look on his face,” Khalighi said. “In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.” She says Simmons tried forcing her to have sex with him, adding that she eventually “acquiesced” to performing oral sex. Khalighi alleges that Simmons later penetrated her without permission in the shower. Simmons is denying the account, saying in a statement: “Everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation.” Ratner’s attorney Martin Singer said the film producer did not see her “protest” Simmons’ advances. Ratner has previously been accused of sexual misconduct by actresses including Olivia Munn.