NYPD launches investigation of Russell Simmons following rape allegations

Def Jam founder denies rape allegations made by three women in New York Times.

— -- The New York Police Department has opened an investigation of Russell Simmons following allegations by multiple women that he sexually harassed or raped them, the NYPD told ABC News Thursday night. Simmons has denied the allegations.

"The NYPD has received information regarding allegations involving Russell Simmons in the NYC area and our detectives are in the process of reviewing that information," NYPD spokesman Peter Donald said.

Simmons spokesman Eric Rose said of the NYPD's investigation, "Russell Simmons fully supports and will cooperate with the police inquiry and is confident of a swift resolution."

Simmons, the founder of hip-hop music label Def Jam Recordings and CEO of Rush Communications, denied on Wednesday claims from four women who say he sexually harassed them, including three who accused him of rape.

Those initial four allegations surfaced in a report by The New York Times.

"I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual," Simmons said in a statement to ABC News.

Then on Thursday, New York City fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone alleged in a New York Post story that Simmons attempted to rape her in 1991 in what she believes was his apartment.

The pair, then casual acquaintances, met a party. She claims he invited her to his apartment, but she declined. He then said he needed to visit a friend’s home, which Cutrone said she agreed to. But she believes instead he brought her to his apartment.

"He pushed me into his apartment and then he threw me down on the floor and literally tried to grab … take my clothes off of me," Cutrone told The New York Post. “And I started kicking him really, really hard, screaming, telling him to get the f*** off of me. And that I would have him killed if he ever f***ing laid a hand on me."

Cutrone told ABC News in a statement, ““I came forward as a result of Russell Simmons' #NotMe, as I felt it was a license to continue to perpetuate violence against women.”

When contacted about Cutrone’s allegations, Simmons’ rep referred ABC News to his initial statement, in which Simmons "vehemently" denies all allegations.

Earlier Thursday, Simmons posted to Instagram an image featuring in large letters, "#NOTME." Alongside the image, he wrote, "Today, I begin to properly defend myself. I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges ... My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in anyway, but instead hold my accusers accountable. #NotMe Again, this is not a movement against or even in conjunction with #Metoo. It’s just a statement about my innocence."

In the Times story, Drew Dixon, a former Def Jam employee, accused Simmons of talking to her sexually, asking her to sit on his lap, exposing himself to her and raping her.

Another woman, music journalist Toni Sallie, accused Simmons of raping her at his apartment in 1988.

Tina Baker, who released pop and dance records in the 1980s as Tina B, accused Simmons of raping her in the early 1990s after she met him at a club and agreed to go to his apartment.

A fourth woman, Christina Moore, claimed Simmons groped her in a Miami hotel room in 2014 before she and a friend hurriedly left, according to the report.

In his lengthy statement, Simmons said, "The current allegations sent to me by the New York Times range from the patently untrue to the frivolous and hurtful."

Simmons also claimed that he has recently been the subject of extortion attempts over false claims of sexual harassment.

In a statement at the time, Simmons said that his recollection of events was "very different from mine," but "it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real."

"While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize," he added in the statement.

In his statement Wednesday, Simmons said, "I have already apologized for the instances of thoughtlessness in my consensual relations. I have separated myself from my businesses and charities in order to not become a distraction."

He added, "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. Although I have been candid about how I have lived in books and interviews detailing my flaws, I will relentlessly fight against any untruthful character assassination that paints me as a man of violence."