Following numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against her ex-husband, Russell Simmons, Kimora Lee Simmons is speaking out.
She shared her thoughts about the situation on Instagram, commending those who have come forward. In the note, she says of her ex-husband, “I have known Russell for over 25 years. We were close friends, married, divorced, and have remained friends, co-parents and partners throughout it all. These allegations against him are nothing like the person I have known in all that time.”
She adds, “I have known him to be a caring and supportive father and someone who has worked tirelessly to uplift disenfranchised communities.”
The model and fashion designer met Russell in 1992, she was 17 and he was 35. The couple married in 1998 and have two daughters, Ming Lee Simmons and Aoki Lee Simmons. They divorced in 2009.
Russell has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct by more than ten women, the most recent allegation coming from filmmaker Jennifer Jarosik, who has accused the hip-hop mogul of rape.
And, while Kimora Lee Simmons defended her ex-husband, she also praised the brave women who have come forward with their stories. “This is a pivotal moment in which men are being held accountable for their abuses of power and denigrating towards women in all spheres,” she wrote, adding that as a mother she hopes victims aren’t shamed for speaking up.
“My sincere hope is that anyone faced with harassment or assault reports it to their organization and/or law enforcement, though I understand that in many cases, this may not be possible” she added. “I remain committed as always to fighting injustice and inequity in all its forms.”