Keri Claussen Khalighi may have never gained name recognition in the modeling world, but now she has gained viral attention after an accusation that music mogul Russell Simmons raped her when she was 17 years old, an incident that reportedly took place with embattled movie director Brett Ratner looking on.
In an account published by the Los Angeles Times, Khalighi explained that she met Ratner and Simmons at a casting call in 1991, when she was a 17-year-old model trying to make a name for herself. At the time, Ratner was known mostly as a music video director and was considered a protege of Simmons, the report noted.
After the three went to dinner one evening, Khalighi said she was invited back to Simmons’ apartment to see a music video they had worked on. Instead, Khalighi said Simmons began to take off her clothes.
“I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face,” Khalighi told the news outlet. “In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.”
Khalighi claimed she fought off the advances, but relented to perform oral sex on Simmons while Ratner watched. She later went to take a shower, and said Simmons approached her in the shower and briefly penetrated her without her consent, causing her to jump away from him.
The allegations have brought viral attention to Keri Claussen Khalighi, with her name trending across social media. There appeared to be little information about Khalighi and where her career went after the alleged incident, though some did post what appeared to be a dated picture of the fashion model.
In one claimed situation, Simmons is alleged to have assaulted model Keri Claussen Khalighi, then 17, while Ratner watched and did not intervene. Both men denied this occurred. pic.twitter.com/d861glSlJm— Daniel Miller (@DanielNMiller) November 19, 2017
In a statement posted to his Twitter page on Sunday morning, Russell Simmons denied the allegations and said that any contact between himself and Keri Claussen Khalighi that weekend was consensual.
Statement of Russell Simmons in Response to LA Times Article. pic.twitter.com/iwT7Wy3SoY— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) November 19, 2017
The allegation comes as Ratner and Simmons face other allegations of sexual misconduct, the Los Angeles Times noted. A report from Variety noted that both men were under investigation for an allegation of sexual battery from 2001.
While the news has brought viral attention to Keri Claussen Khalighi, the model actually has one more big event on the horizon. The report noted that she is pregnant and expecting a baby later this month.
[Featured Image by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Diamond Empowerment Fund]