For hip-hop fans that appreciate Russell Simmons’s legacy, it is a sad day. Aficionados woke to the news that the mogul is being sued for five million dollars for alleged sexual misconduct. The plaintiff, Ms. Jennifer Jarosik is a published poet, author and aspiring documentary filmmaker who bonded with Simmons over their love for yoga, meditation and mutual observance of a vegan diet. Simmons took an interest in Jarosik’s career, offering to be interviewed for a film she was working on, as well as co-producing and providing financing for it.
Simmons, co-author of his autobiography Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money, and God founded Def Jam Records and Rush Entertainment. He launched artists like Kurtis Blow, Run-D.M.C, and L.L Cool J, becoming an instrumental figure in turning hip-hop into a multi-million dollar industry. However, multiple accusers including Jarosik are relaying stories that document pure evil. Simmons has denied sexual misconduct charges from eight other women. All of these scenarios have yet to play out in court. Jarosik is charging Simmons with sexual assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress, according to documents obtained by Salute.
Young women do not want to become known for their struggles or their trauma. They want to be known for their merit, but while walking in their truth, they should be saluted for their bravery. Ms. Jarosik is a warrior in the current crusade, and her story reminds us that #TimesUp for the predators amongst the shadows.