EXCLUSIVE: Russell Simmons Vows To Remain In Bali Amid Legal Woes

Russell Simmons

Hip-Hop mogul Russell Simmons, who’s been accused of sexual assault by multiple women, intends to remain in Bali.

Russell Simmons plans to stay in Bali for the foreseeable future. The Def Jam co-founder has no desire to move back to the United States as he fights a lawsuit filed by a woman accusing him of sexual assault.

“I am not physically present in New York and I do not have an intention to live in New York in the future,” Simmons explained. “I own no property in the United States. I have been living in Bali since 2018, which is where I intend to remain. For at least nine years before I moved to Bali, I lived in California. As a California resident, I paid California resident taxes in the years immediately prior to moving to Bali. Currently, I pay California non-resident state taxes.”

A former Def Jam employee identified as Jane Doe sued Simmons for rape in February. Later, she accused him of forging her signature on a document allegedly dated back to 1997. Jane Doe said she never signed the document, which regarded her departure from Def Jam and minor financial matters. Even if the document was legitimate, Jane Doe noted it had nothing to do with her rape claims against Simmons.

According to a court filing obtained by AllHipHop, Simmons’ lawyer Ellie Sanders attempted to refute Jane Doe’s concerns over the document. Sanders claimed former Def Jam executive Lyor Cohen verified the signature’s legitimacy.

“On Sunday, March 24, 2024, I ‘flattened’ the PDF version of the 1997 Agreement that our firm received via email from Simone Reyes, Mr. Simmons’s colleague,” Sanders declared. “Flattening a PDF is the simple technical process of converting the format of a PDF file using Adobe Acrobat. I regularly flatten PDFs in order to submit documents via ECF, following the procedure stated in the 2019 Electronic Case Filing Rules & Instructions, published by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

“I did not make any changes to the content of the PDF; flattening the PDF file is the only action I took to save the file in the correct format for its eventual e-filing. On April 16, 2024, following the teleconference in this matter and as directed by Judge Koeltl, I emailed the flattened PDF to Plaintiff’s counsel. I titled the PDF ‘Agreement – Jane Doe v. Russell Simmons.pdf’ before transmitting it to Plaintiff’s counsel.”

Sanders continued, “Plaintiff states in her Amended Complaint that ‘She disputes the authenticity of this document’ because, among other reasons, there is a ‘discrepancy with the [March 24, 2024] date and file name.’ The metadata date is March 24, 2024, because that is the date that I flattened and saved the PDF on our firm’s server. I titled the PDF to appropriately identify the file when transmitting that file to Plaintiff’s counsel. On Tuesday, May 14, 2024, I spoke with Lyor Cohen by telephone, and he told me that he recognized his signature on the PDF in both places where it appears.”

Jane Doe sued Simmons for sexual battery/assault, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and gender-motivated violence. She is one of the multiple women who’ve accused Simmons of rape and sexual misconduct. Simmons denied the allegations.