In the midst of the #MeToo movement, Luann de Lesseps is opening up. The Real Housewives of New York City star revealed that she had been subjected to “sexually inappropriate” behavior throughout her entire life and she even accused music mogul Russell Simmons of sexual harassment after he allegedly groped her.
“He grabbed my a– in an elevator, he was just a pig,” Luann revealed in an interview with The Daily Beast. “I haven’t told anybody about that before. I was grossed out. I was like, ‘How dare you.’ 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.'”
The 52-year-old said the incident allegedly happened about “three summers ago” at the Soho Beach House in Miami. She did not report the incident at the time and she said Russell did not express any remorse for what he had done. “No. Of course he didn’t apologize,” Luann said.
Russell did not directly respond to Luann’s accusations and instead, his spokesperson Angela Pruitt re-released a statement to The Daily Beast that Russell previously released to Rolling Stone where he said he “vehemently” denies all of the allegations made against him.
Luann isn’t the only woman to come forward. Since November 2017, nearly a dozen women have accused the Def Jam records co-founder of sexual assault or sexual misconduct over three decades. Model Keri Claussen Khalighi was the first woman to step forward and she claimed that in 1991, Russell had allegedly forced her to perform oral sex on him after a casting call with his business partner, music video director Brett Ratner. Since then, actresses, massage therapists, and former employees that have worked for Russell have accused him of rape or sexual harassment. Watch the video below to learn more about sexual harassment scandals in Hollywood.