A woman who's accused music mogul Russell Simmons of rape, and another who said she managed to talk her way out of a sexual assault by Simmons, appeared on "Megyn Kelly Today" Tuesday to discuss what they said happened to them and how it made them feel dirty.
At least 12 women have recently accused Simmons, a founder of legendary hip-hop record label Def Jam Records, of sexual misconduct, including several who said Simmons raped them. He's "vehemently" denied the allegations, saying they "shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual."
But Sherri Hines, a member of pioneering all-female rap group Mercedes Ladies, said on "Megyn Kelly Today" that Simmons should admit to the behavior that she and other women have described on the show and to reporters for The New York Times and Los Angeles Times.
"If you made an impact and hurt these people … then I think it would be in your best interest to just be real," Hines said.
The Weinstein Ripple Effect
She said that Simmons raped her in his office around 1983, when: "He sat down next to me and, it was weird, because it just happened so fast. Next thing you know I'm being pinned down."
She thought about grabbing a lamp and hitting Simmons with it, she told Kelly, but couldn't stop him. She ran out of the office feeling embarrassed, used and worthless, and told a friend about it.
That friend and a sister of Hines' confirmed to the LA Times they discussed the incident Hines described. The newspaper reported that an attorney for Simmons said he "vigorously denies" it ever occurred.
Hines was joined by actress Natashia Williams-Blach, who said she was able to convince Simmons to stop trying to force her to give him oral sex after taking a yoga class at his home about 20 years ago, when she was 18.
Like Hines, she described the incident happening very fast, but convinced Simmons to let up by telling him she needed to return to UCLA to study.
"I think it was a miracle that put it into my throat to come out," Williams-Blach said. "You just realize you escaped the minefield."
Simmons' attorney told the LA Times when it first reported Williams-Blach's account that Simmons remembers taking a yoga class with her but "vehemently denies the rest of her allegations."
Another woman, Keri Claussen Khalighi, has appeared on "Megyn Kelly Today" to say that Simmons coerced her into have oral sex with him without her consent. Simmons has said he was saddened and shocked by her allegation, which he denied and suggested came from feeling shame about their sexual encounter.
Both women on the show Tuesday they were left feeling violated and dirty.
Williams-Blach said that culture has encouraged such behavior in men: "If it happens, it feels horrible, but, you know, I was the pink bikini girl in the movie or I'm modeling and I'm wearing this outfit and it's sort of presented in a sexualized way."
A representative for Simmons, contacted for comment ahead of the show, referred "Megyn Kelly Today" to his most recent statement, which denied accusations against him in the newspaper reports as ranging "from the patently untrue to the frivolous and hurtful." He also argued people shouldn't be considered guilty by accusation.
"I have re-dedicated myself to spiritual learning, healing and working on behalf of the communities to which I have devoted my life," he said. "I have accepted that I can and should get dirt on my sleeves if it means witnessing the birth of a new consciousness about women. What I will not accept is responsibility for what I have not done. I have conducted my life with a message of peace and love."
Both women on "Megyn Kelly Today" felt that wasn't honest, with Williams-Blach saying she came forward to tell her story specifically because Simmons was implying he couldn't have been a rapist because he does yoga and gives money to charity.
"We literally just did the downward dog before you acted like a dog," she said.
Hines said she had been contacted by the New York Police Department, whose detectives are reviewing allegations against Simmons. Williams-Blach said she had not been contacted.
A representative for Simmons has said he will cooperate the NYPD inquiry "and is confident of a swift resolution."