Luann de Lesseps accuses Russell Simmons of groping her in an elevator
Luann de Lesseps is the latest woman to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Russell Simmons, reportedly accusing the music mogul of groping her in an elevator — an accusation which Simmons has denied.
“He grabbed my ass in an elevator, he was just a pig. I haven’t told anybody about that before. I was grossed out. I was like, ‘How dare you,’” the Real Housewives of New York City star, 52, told the Daily Beast, according to an interview published on Friday. (A rep for de Lesseps did not immediately reply to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)
“He invaded me, he took advantage of me, being who he is, thinking he is all ‘it,’ all everything. He thought he could just do that. I looked at him and said, ‘Don’t ever do that again,’” she added of the alleged encounter, which she told the outlet occurred “around three summers ago, at Soho Beach House, Miami.”
When asked if he apologized, de Lesseps reportedly told the Daily Beast, “No. Of course he didn’t apologize.”
The reality star added that she chose not to report the alleged misconduct at the time.
Simmons, 60, has been accused of sexual misconduct by several women, with allegations ranging from inappropriate behavior in business meetings to rape at his apartment — all of which he has denied. The accusations span more than three decades, according to various reports by The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times.
According to the Daily Beast, Simmons did not respond to de Lessep’s allegations directly, but reissued a statement the music producer previously gave to media outlets, in which Simmons said he “vehemently” denied all of the accusations that have been made against him. Simmons said his “relations have been consensual” and the “horrific accusations have shocked me to my core.”
When reached by PEOPLE for a response to de Lesseps’ allegation in the Daily Beast piece, Simmons’ rep shared a variation of statements previously given to media outlets in response to previous allegations: “I am blessed to have shared extraordinary relationships, whether through work or love, with many great women and I have enormous respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power,” said Simmons. “I am devastated by any reason I may have given to anyone to say or think of me in the ways that are currently being described.”
He continued: “I have separated myself from my businesses and charities in order to not become a distraction. I have re-dedicated myself to spiritual learning, healing and working on behalf of the communities to which I have devoted my life. I have accepted that I can and should get dirt on my sleeves if it means witnessing the birth of a new consciousness about women. What I cannot accept is responsibility for what I have not done. The current allegations range from the patently untrue to the frivolous and hurtful.”
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