Jennifer Jarosik, a documentary filmmaker, filed a lawsuit in January against Russell Simmons, accusing Simmons of raping her at his house. She was seeking $5 million in damages, but she dropped the lawsuit on Wednesday. According to the New York Times, it’s unknown whether there was a settlement.
On April 4, Simmons’ lawyers responded to the court and strongly denied any wrongdoing by Simmons. The filing said that it was not rape, but that it was consensual. As evidence, they stated that Jarosik had sent Simmons text messages showing her romantic interest, and even sent him nude photos without being asked. These exchanges took place after the supposed rape, even though Jarosik claimed in her lawsuit that the rape left her humiliated, depressed, and fearful.
Variety added that there were email exchanges in addition to texts. And some of the texts that Jarosik sent to Simmons after she claimed he’d raped her said “Sending love <3”, “I miss u Russell. r u ok?” and “‘Coming to 1 a. I want to see u OK.”
Court documents also described Jarosik’s “untreated health issues” and that she was “unfit to properly parent.” Simmons’ attorney claimed the woman was only seeking money and was not raped.
“Only after hearing that women were able to recover money for real abuse by actual sexual predators, did Ms. Jarosik decide to see if she could extract large amounts of money from Mr. Simmons.”
The incident in question took place in 2016 when Jarosik visited Simmons at his Los Angeles apartment to discuss her documentary on female empowerment. Even before then, the two had known each other for over a decade. The Daily Mail speculated that since the case was dismissed with prejudice, that there was likely a settlement reached between the two parties outside of court.
However, this is just the beginning for Simmons, who has been accused by over 10 women for various crimes, including rape and sexual assault. He faces a $10 million lawsuit filed by Jane Doe for rape and emotional distress. Simmons has vehemently denied the claims, and called it “pure fiction,” suggesting that it is an attempt to extort him.
Jane Doe’s lawsuit claims that Simmons threatened to molest her son, and that he raped her in his hotel room after a hip-hop show. Simmon’s lawyer, Jill Basinger, is calling the claims “baseless and legally barred.” Doe is not naming an exact date of the alleged rape, but said that it took place in 1988. Court proceedings are expected to begin in May.