I understand the need to fight back against charges alleged against you, especially charges as serious and reputation killing as rape, but there has got to be a better way to do it than this.
Russell Simmons took to Instagram to fight back against sexual misconduct allegations made against him recently. The allegations started off with one woman, Keri Claussen, claiming that Russell Simmons forced her to perform oral sex on him, while movie director, Brett Ratner watched it take place. After Claussen, four more women came forward with allegations against Simmons. Three women who had run-ins with Simmons in the 80’s and 90’s, went as far as to claim Simmons raped and assaulted them. Russell Simmons’ name and legacy was quickly being turned to mud. Yesterday, TMZ (@tmz) reported that Simmons took a polygraph (lie detector) test to prove that the allegations being made against him were false.
Image via: TMZ.com
According to Simmons’ attorneys, Michael Sterling and E, Carlos Tanner, Simmons passed the test without the shadow of a doubt. His attorneys said the test results would be released to the public soon. The polygraph test performed on Simmons Wednesday were related to claims made against him by by Keri Claussen. Simmons Instagram post suggest he will be tested for the claims against him case by case.
This brings us to today. Obviously feeling vindicated by the test results, Simmons took to his Instagram page to let people know how he was feeling.
It could turn out that the claims made against Simmons are false. It could turn out that he is guilty as hell. Nobody knows for sure except the people involved. That’s a whole different issue. My point is, couldn’t he have found a better way to do this? What public relations person told him that this was a good way to handle this situation? I can understand the joy about feeling vindication, especially if charges made against you turned out to be proven not true, but to rip off the #metoo hashtag with your own #notme version, especially in these times, just seems like a clueless thing to do, and a very terrible idea. It seems like Russell’s hashtag undermines the whole #metoo movement. And I’m pretty sure that this wasn’t Russell’s objective when he posted this. He clearly was talking about himself and his own situation. But, his post is surely going to be taken in that other way, whether he meant for it to be or not. This just wasn’t a smart thing to do, under any circumstance. Sometimes, saying less, is actually saying more.