(AllHipHop News) Rap mogul Russell Simmons has issued a statement denying he was involved in a sexual assault with Hollywood director Brett Ratner.
Earlier this week, Variety published a report detailing an incident in 2001, in which the hip-hop mogul and the "Rush Hour" director were investigated for sexual battery involving masturbation.
An unidentified woman, who was 29-years-old at the time, claimed she was held against her will and touched inappropriately at a mansion located on Benedict Canyon Drive in Los Angeles.
"This is an important and critical time for the empowerment of women and men who have been harassed and I fully support the light and healing that comes from this process," Russell Simmons said in a statement.
"I have been a public figure for all of my adult life. And when you are in that arena over decades, you can find yourself in a position where you are vulnerable and susceptible to claims that are untrue,” Russell Simmons continued.
Simmons, who has two daughters with ex-wife/supermodel Kimora Lee Simmons, applauded the women coming forward to share their stories of sexual harassment and assault.
"We all should thank them with complete gratitude. Even if there is collateral damage against me, I support it. I am a yogi and an activist and the father of two daughters who mean everything to me. I want them to live in a world where harassment is not the norm,” Simmons added.
Brett Ratner's lawyer Harland Braun also denied the latest charges against his client, claiming the woman had made similar allegations against other celebrities in Hollywood and had undermined her own credibility.
“It wasn’t rape or anything. It was sexual battery,” Braun told Variety . “This is not her first rodeo… I don’t think there’s anything here. This is a girl that had such a checkered history."
Brett Ratner has been publicly accused of assaulting or harassing six women.
Ratner, who got his start producing hip-hop videos for artist like Redman, Wu-Tang Clan, Diddy, Foxy Brown, LL Cool J, has already lost his deal with Warner Bros.