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Drew Dixon, a former Def Jam executive, is suing Russell Simmons for defamation related to remarks he made on a podcast.

Two days after being hit with a lawsuit alleging sexual assault, Russell Simmons is being sued again – this time by Drew Dixon, a former A&R  executive at Def Jam Records. The suit, which was filed in New York City on Thursday (February 15), contends that Simmons made comments in a  “concerted and malicious campaign to discredit” Dixon to discount her previous allegations of him committing sexual assault against her. The comments come from an interview of Simmons on the In Depth With Graham Besinger podcast last December where he claimed there were different definitions of rape and harassment, saying:  “Yeah, [rape is] a serious word, but I think they’ve changed the meaning.”

The legal filing says that the Def Jam Records co-founder “has gone on a concerted and malicious campaign to discredit Ms. Dixon and to so damage her reputation” to the point where Dixon’s previous allegations wouldn’t be seen as credible. “He has continued in his campaign to discredit Ms. Dixon, referring to the ‘main accuser’ from On the Record and calling her a liar for making the account of the assault public—defamation that started in December 2019 has continued until today,” Kenya Davis, a lawyer representing Dixon, wrote in the suit. Dixon was one of the main subjects of the documentary. Simmons would claim that Winfrey pulled her name from the documentary at his request. “This defamation has reached all the way up the ladder to the pinnacle of the leadership circle, not only including Ms. Winfrey, but other founding board members of Time’s Up, including some of our nation’s most powerful women spanning industries from business to politics to entertainment,” Davis also wrote. The lawsuit is seeking punitive and compensatory damages.

Drew Dixon, who had worked at Def Jam from 1993 until 1995, first came forward with her claim of Simmons assaulting her along with two other women to the New York Times in 2017. She alleges that she constantly fought off Simmons’ aggressive sexual advances while at Def Jam which led to him pinning her to a bed in his apartment in 1995 and sexually assaulting her. Simmons has disputed those claims. 20 women in total have since come forward to accuse the 66-year-old of sexual misconduct. 

Former Def Jam Exec Drew Dixon Sues Russell Simmons  was originally published on hiphopwired.com