Actress Natashia Williams-Blach had no intention of adding her voice to sexual misconduct allegations made against rap mogul Russell Simmons until he brought his spirituality into his denial.
Natashia, who appeared in the Simmons-produced 1997 film, How to Be a Player, was one of five women who spoke out about their reported encounters with the Def Jam Recordings co-founder in a Los Angeles Times expose published last week (13Dec17), on the same day three other accusers also went public in a fresh New York Times article.
Simmons, who had already vehemently disputed two rape claims last month (Nov17), dismissed the latest allegations in a new statement, on both occasions referring to his life as a peace-loving yogi as he declared, “Abusing women in any way shape or form violates the very core of my being.”
However, it’s the businessman’s remarks about his spiritual transformation after model Keri Claussen Khalighi initially blew the whistle on Simmons‘ alleged behavior which irked Natashia, because the star had purportedly tried to force her to perform oral sex on him after they attended a yoga class in 1996.
“I think that was the main impetus to come forward,” she explained on Megyn Kelly Today on Tuesday (19Dec17), “because I followed this story (Khalighi’s allegations) when it emerged, and I wasn’t going to actually say anything at all. I was going to stay on the sidelines and just kinda watch this unravelling (sic).
“When I read Kerri’s statement, and him… (responding), on record it was denial, and he said, ‘How can I be a rapist when I’m a yogi and a vegan?’ I don’t know why that’s relevant… I fell out of my seat. You can’t write this. You can’t make this up.”
She continued, “We literally just went to yoga. We literally just did the downward dog before you acted like a dog!”
Natashia appeared on Megyn Kelly Today alongside Sherri Hines from former hip-hop group Mercedes Ladies, who claims Simmons raped her in his office around 1983, when she was 17.
Hines, also known as Sheri Sher, confirmed she had been contacted by detectives from the New York Police Department’s special victims unit, who are reportedly investigating Simmons‘ alleged actions, although she had yet to provide them with her statement.
“I didn’t speak to them yet, because they wanted to speak to me today, but I was doing the Megyn Kelly show,” she said, before explaining she planned to meet with investigators later in the day.
Simmons has maintained any sexual contact he had with the accusers was consensual, and vowed to continue fighting the allegations to prove his innocence. He also challenged his supposed victims to take a polygraph test, like he did, and passed, when questioned about Khalighi’s allegations.