In a new wave of sexual assault accusations against some of Hollywood’s most influential figures, more women come forward to reveal how their work relationships changed after rape and forced sex.
Russell Simmons, the hip-hop mogul in California, is being accused of sexual assault after model Keri Claussen Khalighi came forward to detail a disturbing incident that allegedly took place in 1991, when she was only 17.
The young girl was invited by Simmons and his long-time pal, Hollywood film producer and director Brett Ratner, to the former’s apartment under the pretext of watching a music video the famous duo were working on at the time.
But the encounter, which was supposed to be work-related and strictly professional, went wrong when Simmons allegedly tore the model’s clothes and attempted to force her into having sex.
Khalighi, now 43, recalled in her interview with the Los Angeles Times how she fought Simmons’ nonconsensual sex advances “wildly” and even looked over at Brett, who was watching the whole thing, and said, “Help me.” The model says she will never forget the look on the filmmaker’s face, as in that moment, she realized that they were in it together. Khalighi had to acquiesce eventually.
Ratner is also being accused of sexual assault and harassment by a number of other women, including famous actresses Olivia Munn and Ellen Page.
But this was not the only incident where Simmons and Ratner allegedly acted together to sexually assault innocent women in Los Angeles. In her interview with the LA Times, another woman, Tanya Reid, recalled how the two forced her to perform oral sex on Ratner.
While Ratner was supposed to help Reid with her modeling career, the woman, who was 18 at the time of the deplorable incident, says the experience made her give up the modeling career.
As more and more women come forward to allege the atrocities involving Simmons and Ratner, the pair may have sexually assaulted and harassed dozens more women.
The problem of sexual assault and harassment in Los Angeles, though not new, has come under increased scrutiny in America after over 100 women came forward to accuse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, rape, harassment and other sexual misconduct in early October.
Since then, dozens of powerful men in California have been forced to step down amid allegations of sexual misconduct and the police launched investigations into the claims.
In fact, the Weinstein effect has rippled through the entire country, with the number of sexual harassment claims filed by employees in all industries in Los Angeles and all across the nation skyrocketing.
As seen from the alleged experience of Khalighi, employers or otherwise powerful men inviting women (employees) to their apartments or hotels under the pretext of work has been around for decades.
More commonly, employers or coworkers may invite their female employees or coworkers to work dinners, where they would get the lady drunk and make sexual advances. These encounters may lead to sexual assault, or end in retaliation or wrongful termination if the woman refuses to have sex.
Here at the Kaufman Law Firm, our sexual harassment attorneys in Los Angeles have seen an unprecedented rise in sexual misconduct claims filed by female employees in recent weeks.
Every single week since the Hollywood sex scandals made headlines, we’ve been receiving dozens of calls from women who have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment or abuse in the workplace.
Our team of skilled Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys works day and night to take your calls and launch an independent investigation into your claims. Reporting sexual harassment at work may be scary, which is why the Kaufman Law Firm is here 24/7 to help you out.