Another One: Russell Simmons Accused of Rape by Alexia Norton Jones, Granddaughter of Late Book Publisher W.W. Norton

Russell Simmons has been accused of rape — again — this time by Alexia Norton Jones.

Alexia, whose father was a friend of Russell’s, is the granddaughter of late book publisher W.W. Norton.

In an interview with Variety, Alexia says that a night out with Russell ended with him inviting her to his apartment, pinning her against a wall, and raping her.

“It was such a fast attack,” she said. “He pulled my dress up. I must have said no seven to 10 times.”

You can read her full story below via Variety:

Russell Simmons would fly up the stairs at Inter City, as a young record executive. He wore the same clothing he wears now — plain sneakers and jeans. There was nothing impressive about it. He was being really diligent to get his records played on the station. He was trying to build his empire, but he was really like wallpaper. He was not anybody who stood out.

It wasn’t until a few more years, in the late ‘80s, that I started seeing him out. My life was in a good place. My first book was a success, and I had been taking meetings with Mike Tyson about the possibility of doing a memoir with him. Russell got my number and he began incessantly calling me. That man could call you seven or eight times a day. He would speak so quickly, sometimes you would not understand what he was saying. He would call many times just to say hello.

He had a beautiful girlfriend, who was a stunning woman. One afternoon, he invited me to the Pink Tea Cup. At that point, I was seeing someone else. I noticed Russell was very nervous, fidgety, sweaty, hanging out with a couple brothers who had drug problems. He darted out, and he left me there by myself.

I remember, sometime after that, my understanding was he wasn’t with his girlfriend anymore. So we go out in November 1990. This was our first date. There was no confusion about that. And I liked him. He wasn’t into this fitness thing back then. He was a little overweight. But I’m not attracted to skinny guys anyway, and looks aren’t the most important thing on a guy for me.

At the end of the evening, he wanted to show me his new apartment, which he said he’d bought from a well-known pop star. It’s weird what I can still recall from that night. I remember I was wearing these Diego Della Valle shoes that were new. I remember I was wearing a black stretchy dress that had a collar. I remember he had a terrific car with a driver. I remember going over to his place.

Within a few minutes, he got what he thought was amorous. What was shocking to me was that it wasn’t. It was one of these things, where he had so many hands on me. But he only has two hands. It began with us kissing. There was something about kissing him, his heart was racing. It seemed out of pace, like he wasn’t relaxed. My mind went to, “Is he on something?” I also thought, “How could I be such an idiot?” Here I am, I’m trusting him. I had been a survivor of sexual abuse as a young teenager.

I didn’t want to go further. It was such a fast attack. It was literally an attack. Because he was overweight, I remember thinking it was like being attacked by a flabby walrus. I remember being pushed up against a wall. He pulled my dress up. I must have said no seven to 10 times, and then I acquiesced. It was very fast. I would say it happened in less than 10 minutes.

This is what baffled me. I had willingly gone there. I went there and I would have been intimate with him. Why he did he have to take from me what wasn’t his? The other thing, which is very important, is that at the time I was living with an undiagnosed and very rare muscle disease. So I was suddenly weak. One of the things that’s so fascinating to me about the relationship with women who are misdiagnosed with an illness and victims of rape is that we are both told these things are in your head.

After the attack, the top of my dress was still intact. I pulled it back up into shape and went home. There was nobody to tell, because we had the same friends. I later confided in my therapist. This was my concern, to be honest with you: he didn’t use a condom. I was worried I had exposed myself to a sexually transmitted disease. The other concern was pregnancy. I was freaked out.

When I saw him out after that, I wouldn’t even look him in the eyes. I thought he was garbage. But he still had the compunction to call me. I became very depressed. It eroded my self-esteem. This is the worst message that it sends, that somebody could in a different circumstance like you but think you are worthless. And he can just take it from you. It’s like the murder of the soul.

The other important part to this story is race. Russell is a black man. We black women in the community didn’t want him to fail. We wanted him to succeed. As a black woman, we are told we have less value in society already. And then you have someone who is supposed to be a leader, and what he did to me. I was a gem. And he turned me into dirt.

I’m a victim, but I didn’t end up living like a victim. The other thing that you do is you have to forgive. I ended up forgiving Russell simply for one reason: time. I would run into him at social events decades later, and I saw a difference in him and the way he acted after he got clean. Russell doesn’t get to be my jailer.

I would have kept quiet forever. What made me come forward is his denials of violence toward other women. I don’t want any money from Russell. I’m not suing him. If you look at the women he allegedly assaulted, many of us have a similar look. It’s uncanny. Russell knew that the African-American community was behind him. There are so few black men who make it, we wanted him to succeed. Yet there was also this huge betrayal. He counted on this silence.

Share This Post