Former model Keri Claussen Khalighi, who accused Russell Simmons of sexually assaulting her when she was 17, said that the music mogul privately apologized to her after the fact.
“Russell and I have actually had a face-to-face confrontation around this,” Khalighi told Megyn Kelly on the “Today” show Wednesday. “We’ve had phone conversations where we’ve had a conversation about what happened where there was no dispute about what we were talking about. We were both talking about what happened on that night and he actually apologized.”
Khalighi also said she was surprised by Simmons’ public refutation of her accusations about the 1991 encounter, which Simmons described in a statement on Sunday as “completely consensual.”
“What he’s speaking about privately with me is completely different than what’s come out publicly,” Khalighi said Wednesday. “That’s the piece that’s been really, really upsetting, disappointing and quite honestly just repugnant with the hypocrisy and the lies and the denial.”
A rep for Simmons did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment, but he previously denied allegations that he sexually assaulted Khalighi or forced her to perform oral sex.
“We spent time in my apartment over a period of two days and one night, as well as at some public places including Nell’s Nightclub,” Simmons said in a statement. “Much of the time we were in the presence of other acquaintances. I’m deeply saddened and truly shocked to learn of Keri’s assertions as to what happened over the course of that weekend.”
“I almost don’t even want to speak against that because it’s ludicrous,” she told Kelly.
A person familiar with the matter that Simmons did offer an apology to Khalighi but that it had only been in the context of the “embarrassment and upheaval” their encounter may have caused her.