Sil Lai Abrams, an author and domestic violence activist, dropped a pair of explosive allegations involving Russell Simmons and A.J. Calloway. In separate instances, Abrams claims both men sexually assaulted her, which they’ve both vehemently denied.
In a detailed profile from The Hollywood Reporter backed with their side saying the story was corroborated by witnesses along with personal documents related to the cases, Abrams accused Simmons of raping her in 1994 when she worked at Def Jam records. She detailed that accident and the alleged 2006 attack from Calloway in her 2007 book, No More Drama, but didn’t use their real names.
Abrams, 47, is an author and domestic-violence activist who, like many accusers in the hectic aftermath of major exposes about Harvey Weinstein, felt an urgent need to speak out. She had already told her own story of not one but two alleged sexual assaults — 12 years apart — in her 2007 book, No More Drama. But she had not dared to use real names.
Then everything changed. Abrams felt emboldened by the #MeToo movement to reveal that “Ronald,” described in the book as “well known for only dating models and for his hard-partying lifestyle funded by his very successful record label,” was Russell Simmons, who Abrams alleges raped her in 1994. “Well-spoken B-list celebrity Ray,” who Abrams says assaulted her in 2006, was A.J. Calloway, a host on the entertainment show Extra, which is produced by Warner Bros. and airs in major markets on NBC owned-and-operated stations. Both men deny the allegations.
Events unfolded as Abrams had predicted: The Ratner stories were soon followed by claims against his close friend, Simmons. On Nov. 19, model Keri Claussen Khalighi accused Simmons, now 60, of assaulting her in 1991, when she was 17, while Ratner looked on. Writer Jenny Lumet then wrote a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter detailing her own allegations of sexual abuse by Simmons, after which he stepped down from his various businesses. At this point, more than a dozen women have accused Simmons of rape or assault.
Abrams is the 17th woman to come forward against Simmons. Calloway, the former BET personality who now works as a host for Extra, issued a statement via his legal team stating that he has cooperated with authorities and that he will fight to defend his name.