Russell Simmons Sued For Defamation By Former Def Jam Exec

Russell Simmons faces yet another legal challenge as former Def Jam Recordings executive Drew Dixon files a defamation lawsuit against him. Dixon accuses Simmons of engaging in a deliberate and malicious campaign to discredit her after she came forward with allegations of sexual assault against him. The lawsuit, filed in New York’s state Supreme Court, seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Dixon’s complaint outlines a series of statements made by Simmons aimed at undermining her credibility, including remarks suggesting that her accusations were fabricated for notoriety and fame. Simmons, in a podcast interview, challenged the veracity of Dixon’s claims, stating, “Could someone want notoriety in the market where people thirst for fame” and asserting, “I’ve never been forceful in any of my relationships,” despite Dixon’s allegations of rape in 1995.

The legal action follows similar suits against Simmons, including one from another former Def Jam executive, who also remains anonymous. In Dixon’s case, she recounts the alleged assault in 1995, where Simmons purportedly invited her to his apartment under false pretenses and raped her. Despite confiding in friends at the time, Dixon did not report the incident to law enforcement due to fears of reprisal from Simmons.

Dixon’s allegations gained public attention in 2017 when some details were published by The New York Times, with further exposure in the 2020 documentary, On the Record. However, Simmons continued to challenge Dixon’s account, even directing an interviewer to contact Oprah Winfrey, an executive producer of the documentary, alleging Winfrey withdrew support at his urging.

The defamation lawsuit asserts that Simmons’ actions have not only damaged Dixon’s reputation but also hindered her professional prospects, preventing her from re-entering the entertainment industry at a level commensurate with her experience. The legal action seeks redress for the harm caused by Simmons’ alleged campaign to discredit Dixon.

Simmons’ legal woes deepen as Dixon’s lawsuit emerges just days after another former Def Jam employee filed a separate suit accusing him of rape under New York’s Adult Survivors Act and the New York City Gender Motivated Violence Act. This latest complaint describes a disturbing incident of alleged assault, further contributing to Simmons’ ongoing legal battles and tarnishing his reputation in the music industry.