I’m about as exhausted hearing about who’s the new sexual predator of the day the same way the victims were repeatedly asked to perform fellatio on men more influential and powerful than their boyfriends. Unfortunately for me I haven’t been selected to be sexually harassed by upper management. There’s no segue into a seven figure salary or settlement should I chose to live on my knees in silence. So back to standing on two feet and loudly snitching it is. Let’s all show some love and a warm welcome to the newest face to grace the sexual misconduct show, Russell Simmons. Apparently he was apart of some sexual misconduct Justice League, a pantheon of perverts. Allegedly he made a 17-year-old model, Keri Claussen Khalighi, perform oral sex on him in 1991 while Brett Ratner just watched. No one is denying that the incident took place. The part where sexual misconduct steps in is the question of “is reluctance rape?”
Keri Claussen Khalighi was a 17-year-old fashion model from a farm town in Nebraska when she met Brett Ratner and Russell Simmons at a casting call“I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face,” she recalled. “In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.”
Khalighi said that Simmons, who was then about twice her age, tried to force her to have intercourse. “I fought it wildly,” she said. He eventually relented and coerced her to perform oral sex, she alleged. “I guess I just acquiesced.” Ratner, meanwhile, “just sat there and watched,” she said. Feeling “disgusting,” Khalighi said she went to take a shower. Minutes later, she alleged, Simmons walked up behind her in the shower and briefly penetrated her without her consent. She said she jerked away, then he left. “It hurt so much.”
In a statement, Simmons, 60, strongly disputed her account. “Everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation,” he said. Much of the two days and one night he spent with her, he said, was with other people, or in public. Ratner had “no recollection” of Khalighi asking him for help and denied witnessing her “protest,” his attorney Martin Singer said.
In several of the accounts, the women said that Ratner, 48, surrounded himself with powerful friends, including Simmons and filmmaker James Toback. These men and other older, controversial Hollywood friends — including producer Robert Evans and filmmaker Roman Polanski — have served as father figures to Ratner, who had a distant relationship with his late dad. Evans, the former Paramount Pictures production chief who was convicted of trafficking cocaine, explained his relationship with Ratner in a 2007 Vanity Fair story: “I was his Hollywood father. I don’t know whether I should be proud of that or not.”
I didn’t care who Monica Lewinsky, Kim Kardashian, or Keri Claussen Khalighi was until genitalia belonging to men more famous than them gave them a platform. One is doing TED talks, one has her own TV show, and one is hoping for a silent payout. Money, shame, and fame all being the common denominator between them. If someone allegedly forced their phallus down your throat you don’t take a shower at their house right after. I’ll admit Ratner isn’t the greatest defense witness on a case like this but I need more evidence before falling victim to a conjecture myself. I’m not putting it past a powerful music mogul to take advantage of a teen but something about her story isn’t adding up. You know like the absence of at least a police report. But then when you look at the accusations against Ratner and the people he was around his entire career this situation seems more than plausible.
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