Russell Simmons Biography
Russell Simmons is an American entrepreneur, record executive, writer and film producer. The chair and CEO of Rush Communications.
He also co-founded the hip-hop music label Def Jam Recordings. He created the clothing fashion lines Phat Farm, Argyle culture and Tantris.
Russell Simmons Age
Born on October 4, 1957, Russell is 61 years as of 2018.
Russell Simmons Net Worth
Russell Simmons’ net worth is approximately $340 million dollars.
Russell Simmons Wife/Kids
Simmons and model Kimora Lee met in November 1992. On December 20, 1998, they married on the island of Saint Barthélemy. The couple has two daughters, Ming Lee born on 2000 and Aoki Lee born on 2002. In March 2006, Simmons announced that he and Lee had ended their relationship; they officially divorced two years later.
Russell Simmons Education
Simmons was born and raised in Hollis, Queens. His father was a public school administrator and his mother was a New York City park administrator. His brothers are painter Daniel Simmons Jr. and Rev Run of Run DMC.
After graduating from August Martin High School in 1975, Simmons briefly attended the City College of New York in Harlem. There he met a young DJ/Bboy, Kurt Walker, who influenced him to participate in the hip-hop phenomenon.
Upon hearing Eddie Cheeba perform in Harlem in 1977, Simmons knew that hip hop would be his career. Simmons stated that hearing Cheeba in 1977 made him feel like he had just witnessed the invention of the wheel. Claremont Lincoln University awarded Russell Simmons an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humane Letters in 2014. It was for his work as chairman of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and for promoting mindfulness, compassion and inter religious collaboration in the public sphere.
Russell Simmons Career
In 1983, Simmons co-founded Def Jam with Rick Rubin, who sold his share of the company for $120 million to Universal Music Group in 1996. In 1985, Simmons co-produced and appeared in the film Krush Groove. Rush Communications Inc., is Simmons’ company, it includes over ten businesses and three non-profits. Simmons and Stan Lathan his partner, have also produced television hits HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Def Poetry Jam, and currently has a development deal with HBO.
Simmons co-produced the hit film The Nutty Professor in 1996, starring Eddie Murphy. Simmons co-founded RushCard, a prepaid debit card provider in 2003. Simmons launched the clothing line Phat Fashions L.L.C using the Phat Farm and Phat Baby labels in 1992. When he first created Phat Fashions L.L.C, the clothing line was sold in a shop in the SoHo district of Manhattan. Well known rap artists helped to promote the clothing line to a wide audience.
Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger gave the clothing line a classic look and feel thus influencing it. Phat Fashions encompassed not only hip hop clothing for men, but also women and children. Phat Fashions grew into a lifestyle brand with the addition of jewelry, perfume, and other merchandise. Phat Fashions L.L.C sold merchandise in two stores in New York and Montreal as well as online at www.phatfarm.com. In addition, the clothing line was carried by some 3,000 retailers in the United States.
Simmons sold Phat Farm and Baby Phat to the Kellwood Company for $140 million in 2004. Russell Simmons, along with his brothers Danny Simmons and Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, founded the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation in 1995. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide art education and support to under-serviced youth by helping people of color access the arts and by providing exhibition opportunities. The Foundation serves about 3,000 students annually and maintains two galleries.
The Rush Arts Gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan and the Corridor Gallery in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn exhibit the work of more than 100 community and emerging artists.
Russell Simmons Social activism
Simmons has been vegan since 1999 and advocates Ahimsa and veganism, citing animal rights along with the environmental and health benefits. Simmons supports of Farm Sanctuary. An organization working to end cruelty to farm animals. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in awarded him the PETA Humanitarian Award and the 2011 Person of the Year Award. In 2009, Simmons organized thousands of protestors and hip-hop celebrities in front of city hall demanding change of the harsh sentencing of the Rockefeller Drug Laws.
Simmons in 2002, became chairman of the board of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. He was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Slavery Memorial at the United Nations. It was to honor the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in May 2009. Simmons actively supports the Somaly Mam Foundation and was honored at their 2011 gala dinner. He endorses the second Muslim Jewish Conference 2011 officially.
He served as the official patron of the conference held July 2011 in Kiev, Ukraine together with Rabbi Marc Schneier. In 2011, he took part in the Occupy Wall Street protests, visiting the protesters at Zuccotti Park often and for many consecutive days. Simmons is also a longtime supporter for gay rights. He encourages marriage equality. When the retail corporation in 2011 Lowe’s withdrew funding from the show All-American Muslim, Simmons promised to pay the Learning Channel for any revenue lost.
Simmons supported Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich’s re-election campaign. He appeared with the politician at various speaking events in 2012. He pledged support for New York’s mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio in November 2013 in recognition of his support for animal rights. Simmons criticized Donald Trump his friend, real estate developer and United States president in 2015, in an open letter after Trump called for Muslim immigrants to be barred from entering the United States.
Simmons in 2017, was listed by UK based company Richtopia at number 23 in the list of 200 Most Influential Social-Entrepreneurs and Philanthropists Worldwide.
Russell Simmons Sexual misconduct and assault allegations
In November 2017, model Keri Claussen Khalighi accused Simmons of sexually assaulting her in 1991, when she was seventeen. Simmons and Brett Ratner, who was accused by Khalighi of watching them without intervening when she asked for his help, both deny that the encounter was non-consensual. As the allegation was covered in the press, Terry Crews accused Simmons of attempting to influence him to take back sexual assault allegations that Crews had recently brought up against film executive Adam Venit, asking that Crews “give him a pass … ask that he be reinstated.”
Crews posted a screenshot of the alleged e-mail he had received from Simmons on his Twitter account. On 30th November 2017, writer Jenny Lumet claimed that Simmons had assaulted her in 1991. Simmons in response said he would step down from his positions with his businesses. HBO on the same day, announced that they would be removing Simmons’s name and his likeness from his stand-up comedy specials starting with the December 1 episode.
The Los Angeles Times published an investigative report on December 13, 2017, in which five women accused Simmons of sexual misconduct; including an alleged rape. The New York Times on the same day, published the accounts of four other women who accused Simmons of inappropriate conduct; including three alleged rapes. Simmons in response to the allegations, stated he “never had a sexual encounter that was not consensual or lawful. Ever.”
Simmons denied the allegations to Rolling Stone. He said (in part), he vehemently deny all the allegations made against him on February 9, 2018. He said they have shocked me to my core as they have never been abusive or violent in any way in his relations with women. He is blessed to have shared extraordinary relationships, whether through work or love, with many great women. He has enormous respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power.
He was devastated by any reason. He may have given to anyone to say or think of me in the ways that are currently being described. He separated himself from his businesses and charities in order to not become a distraction. On 25th April 2018, Jennifer Jarosik, a filmmaker who alleged Simmons raped her, dropped her lawsuit. The suit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning Jarosik can not refile allegations in court.
They were women aged seventeen at the time of the alleged incidents, they accused Simmons of sexual harassment, assault or rape:
- Kelly Cutrone, publicist and author.
- Keri Claussen Khalighi, model.
- Lisa Kirk, an acquaintance of Simmons.
- Toni Sallie, music journalist.
- Amanda Seales, actor and comedian (verbal harassment).
- Natashia Williams-Blach, actress.
- Luann de Lesseps, reality television personality.
Women who said they had been raped by Simmons include:
- Jenny Lumet, screenwriter.
- Sherri Hines, musician.
- Tina Baker, singer-turned-lawyer.
- Drew Dixon, former music recording executive.
- Jennifer Jarosik, filmmaker.
After the third assault allegation was published in a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter November 2017 by Jenny Lumet, Simmons stepped down from his role in the label Def Jam Records, along with his yoga lifestyle brand, other media properties and CNNMoney. Jenny Lumet is the daughter of filmmaker Sidney Lumet and the granddaughter of singer and civil rights activist Lena Horne. Lumet wrote:
“As a woman of color, I cannot express how wrenching it is to write this about a successful man of color. I feel a pang to protect your daughters. I don’t think you are inclined to protect mine.”
Simmons has written several books that reflect his experiences.
- Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money, God, published September 24, 2001.
- Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway and More, published March 29, 2005.
- Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success, published April 10, 2008.
- Super Rich: Inside and Out, published November 1, 2011.
- Success Through Stillness, published March 11, 2014.
- The Happy Vegan, published November 4, 2015.
Russell Simmons Twitter
Russell Simmons Instagram
View this post on Instagram
I spoke of @nipseyhussle on instagram live again this morning ..The yogis believe that enlightenment can come in the moment of passing for a devotee to righteousness. The teaching says that if he or she is focused on God when they pass…then they could enter the kingdom for the last time … He was Always focused on the most high ?Our brothers mother’s words about how peaceful he looked gave me chills .. We discuss this on Facebook and instagram live today Then we meditate Join me and continue to celebrate the life of the young prophet #nipseyhussle