New York City police detectives are in the initial stages of an investigation into claims from multiple women who say Russell Simmons sexually assaulted them.
“The NYPD has received information regarding allegations involving Russell Simmons in the NYC area and our detectives are in the process of reviewing that information,” Sgt. Brendan Ryan told The Hollywood Reporter.
In a Wednesday report in The New York Times, former Def Jam Records employee Drew Dixon, former music journalist Tonie Sallie and performer Tina Baker allege Simmons raped them in encounters that spanned from 1988 to 2014. In a separate report also published Wednesday, performer Sherri Hines alleged Simmons raped her in 1983.
Simmons, who had also been accused of sexual assault weeks prior, denied the allegations.
New York City police, who are also investigating similar allegations leveled against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, are interviewing the women.
On Thursday, Simmons’ Twitter account was deleted and he had posted a new statement on his Instagram maintaining his innocence.
“Today, I begin to properly defend myself,” he wrote. “I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges. Today, I will focus on ‘The Original Sin’ (Keri Claussen), the claim that created this insane pile on of my #MeToo. Stay tuned! We’ll share information today… And tomorrow the case of Jenny Lumet. My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in anyway, but instead hold my accusers accountable. #NotMe Again, this is not a movement against or even in conjunction with #Metoo . It’s just a statement about my innocence.”
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.