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NYPD launches investigation into Russell Simmons rape accusations

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According to CNN, the NYPD has opened an investigation into Russell Simmons after multiple women have come forward with rape claims against the music mogul. In November, a woman named Keri Clausen Khalighi said that Simmons and director Brett Ratner had made “aggressive sexual advances” toward her when she was 17, and though she said Simmons had apologized to her in private, he continues to deny the allegations in public. Then, last night, The New York Times published a report on three more women who all say that Simmons raped them, with each of them having their own music careers “disrupted or derailed” by the alleged incidents. The CNN story says that the NYPD can open an investigation like this without someone directly filing a complaint, which is what happened here, and the department’s Special Victims Unit is now working to identify and contact seven women with accusations against Simmons.

Meanwhile, Simmons has posted an image on his Instagram account with the hashtag “NotMe,” which is clearly some kind of tasteless twist on #MeToo even if he claims otherwise. The post goes on to say that Simmons now intends to “properly defend” himself against the allegations and that he’s “innocent of all rape charges”—though he hasn’t been formally charged with anything yet.