Alexia Norton Jones, the granddaughter of the late book publisher W.W. Norton, has accused Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def-Jam recordings, of rape. Jones recounts a night in which she alleges a date with Simmons went very wrong and left her distraught and in shock. Although the date took place in November of 1990, Jones recalls the event as if it happened yesterday.
Jones alleges that Simmons invited her up to his new Manhattan apartment to take a look at the place at the conclusion of their date. She claims that despite protestations, Simmons tried to pull her dress up several times, pinned her against a wall, and then proceeded to rape her. She described everything as happening so fast she could hardly react. After that, Jones claims that Simmons continued pursuing her to meet again. She says he called often and tried to track her down at every social event he saw her at.
Jones, who now lives in Arizona, filed a report with the NYPD last spring regarding the incident. She was well aware at the time of filing that the statute of limitations had long passed. Jones was not seeking any monetary compensation and knew a conviction was impossible. What she hoped for was that by sharing her story of what happened, other women might step forward with theirs. At last count, as reported by Variety, over a dozen women have levied allegations against Simmons for rape or sexual assault.
Simmons is maintaining his innocence against the allegation, as he has with each one of them.
“At no time did she share these feelings about her first sexual encounter with me, which took place roughly 28 years ago. I have taken multiple lie detector tests that affirm I never sexually assaulted anyone. Alexia and I dated, were intimate and attended multiple events together after she alleges the incident occurred in 1990. I considered her a friend for all these years and continue to have a warm relationship with members of her family. I believe we last spoke in 2006 when she called to express her disappointment over the fact that I had not attended an event honoring her father.”
In recent interviews, Jones has stated that she does not live life like a victim. She has forgiven Simmons for what he did, and she has found peace within herself. She further added, in a column appearing on Buzzfeed, that she would have probably remained quiet about what happened between the two of them except that when she saw Simmons denying acts of violence toward a number of other women, she felt it was her responsibility to stand with them. Investigators with the NYPD could not be reached for comment on any investigations involving Simmons.