Showing posts with label Women. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Women. Show all posts

December 15, 2017

Music Mogul Russell Simmons Gets 9 More Women Accuse Him of Sexual Misconduct

Russell Simmons at the 2012 Green Festival in New York City.

Nine more women have come forward with allegations that music mogul Russell Simmons raped or sexually harassed them in reports published Wednesday by the New York Timesand Los Angeles Times.
Four of the women spoke on the record with the New York Times, emboldened, they said, by the sea change in how victims' stories have been treated in the wake of allegations against disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and other high-profile men in entertainment and other industries. Three of the four women who spoke to the Times said Simmons raped them after exhibiting sexually violent and abusive behavior.
Others said they made the decision to come forward after reading Simmons' denials to earlier allegations, including those made by model Keri Claussen Khalighi, who told the Los Angeles Times in November that Simmons assaulted her after he and film director Brett Ratner took her back to the music mogul's apartment under the guise of showing her a music video they were working on. In a guest column for the Hollywood Reporter last month, screenwriter Jenny Lumet also accused Simmons of raping her in 1991.
Mike D of the Beastie Boys (right) with Russell Simmons in London in 1987.
Mike D of the Beastie Boys (right) with Russell Simmons in London in 1987.
Taken together, the allegations span from the early 1980s, when Simmons was cementing his status as an elder statesman of hip-hop via Def Jam records, to just a few years ago.
Following the allegations by Lumet and Khalighi, Simmons, now 60, announced that he was stepping down from his business empire, including his yoga venture Tantric, so as not to serve as a distraction.
But on Wednesday after the reports by the LA Times and New York Times were published, Simmons issued a much more strongly worded statement denying the accusations.
"I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual," he said. "I have enormous respect for the women's movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power."

Allegations of rape

Drew Dixon told the New York Times she was working as an executive at Def Jam Recordings in 1995 when Simmons started to act sexually abusive. Dixon, who was 24 at the time, tried to stave off the harassment until later that year, when she said Simmons raped her in his Manhattan apartment.
She quit her position at Def Jam soon after.
"I was broken," she told the New York Times.
Toni Sallie was a 28-year-old music journalist for the trade magazine Black Radio Exclusive when she met Simmons while on assignment in 1987. After a few dates, their relationship didn't work out, she said, but they remained in touch and one night the following year, Simmons invited her to a party at his apartment.
When she arrived, however, she discovered they were alone. She told the Times that while giving her a tour of the apartment, Simmons threw her on a bed and raped her.
Tina Baker, a singer at the time, was also allegedly attacked after agreeing to return to the music mogul's apartment in the early 1990s. Once inside, she told the Times, Simmons pinned her down and raped her.
"I did nothing," she said. "I shut my eyes and waited for it to end."
Sherri Hines, a member of hip-hop group Mercedes Ladies who went by the stage name Sheri Sher when she encountered Simmons in 1983, told the LA Times that the music mogul raped her in his office after running into her at nightclub when she was just 17 or 18 years old.
After sitting down on a couch, she said, he pinned her down and raped her despite her attempts to fight him off.
"I left crying," she told the paper.  
Other women who spoke out relayed stories of alleged misconduct by Simmons, ranging from an assault inside a nightclub bathroom, to using his position at Tantric yoga studios to pressure instructors and members into sexually inappropriate situations.
The women also spoke about having to deal with sexually vulgar and suggestive language, or be on constant watch for the next aggressive move.
In one alleged case, Erin Beattie, a massage therapist, was 24 when she was booked for an in-room massage at the Alexis Hotel in 2005 with Simmons. She told the LA Times that halfway through the session, Simmons removed his sheet and exposed his penis.
"He was like, ‘Do you want to work this out?’” she recalled him saying. Beattie told the paper that she stayed in the room only after Simmons agreed to no sexual contact.

Fear of reprisal

In each of the cases reported Wednesday, the women at the time confided the alleged assaults to people in their inner circle, including friends and a therapist, who then corroborated what they had been told to both news organizations.   
Russell Simmons at the 2012 Green Festival in New York City.
Over and over, the women said they had waited so many years to come forward out of fear of retaliation, particularly given Simmons' position atop a vast empire of production, fashion, and lifestyle business ventures.
"I didn’t want to cut off my one conduit to having any hope of a career," Dixon, the former Def Jam music exec, told the New York Times.
Hines even based an encounter in her novel Mercedes Ladies on the alleged rape, but was too scared to identify Simmons by name, instead referring to him as a powerful businessman named "Ron."
BuzzFeed News reached out to multiple women named in both reports, including Beattie, Sallie, and Dixon, as well as to the local authorities where the alleged assaults occurred.

Simmons' response

The music mogul has denied all of the allegations of misconduct against him so far. In some cases, he has acknowledged some form of relationship with the women, but insisted that at no time did he engage in nonconsensual sexual conduct.

December 9, 2017

Former Fox Anchor Woman Described How Trump Went for her Lips Inside an Elevator

Compound Media
A former Fox News anchor said President Trump once tried to kiss her on the lips unexpectedly after a business lunch.
Juliet Huddy, a former host on Fox and Friends Weekend, spoke about her interactions with the president on Thursday as a guest on the Mornin'!!! w/ Bill Schulz show.
"It was a weird moment," she said, noting she was reflecting on it publicly for the first time. "He never tried anything after that. I was never alone with him."
Huddy said Trump had taken her out to lunch at Trump Tower in 2005 or 2006 to discuss a potential project involving her on The Apprentice. At the time, Huddy was a host on Fox and Friends Weekend, a program Trump watched frequently. Trump married his wife Melania in January 2005.
"He’s been known to call women who are anchors and say, 'I love what you do,'" Huddy said.
Juliet Huddy in 2011
Fox News / Via
Juliet Huddy in 2011
As Trump said goodbye to her in the elevator, in the presence of his security guard, he leaned in and tried to kiss her on the lips, she said.
"I was surprised that he went for the lips," she said. "But I didn’t feel threatened."
In response to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News, a White House official denied her account.
Huddy said Trump later invited her and a friend to tour The Apprentice set, and there were no hard feelings that she had rebuffed an advance. And a few years later, he appeared on her syndicated show, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet. Off-air, to a studio audience of about 50 people as well as producers, Trump laughed about the pass in the elevator, Huddy said.
"'I tried hitting on her but she blew me off,'" Huddy said Trump told them. "It
wasn’t on air, it was to the audience and the producers. But he was laughing."
Immediately after the kiss, Huddy said she wondered if it was an accident or a misread signal.
"Maybe he leaned in for a kiss thinking, 'she came out for lunch with me, maybe she’s interested,'" she said she thought. "Now that I’ve matured, I look at things a little bit differently. At the time I was a little shocked and I thought maybe he didn’t mean to do it, maybe I leaned in wrong, so I was kinda making excuses."
The behavior was similar to how Trump described his actions around "beautiful women" to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush. Trump and his supporters later dismissed it as "locker room talk," not an indication of how Trump, in reality, treated women.
"You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them," Trump said. "It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything."
"Whatever you want," Bush said.
"Grab ’em by the pussy," Trump said. "You can do anything."
Though Trump and Huddy had a positive working relationship for years, Huddy said she's lately been disappointed in him. Huddy reportedly was sexually harassed by former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and reached a settlement over her accusations. On the Bill Schulz show on Thursday, Huddy said she could not discuss the matter.
But, she added, Trump had not been silent. The president publicly said he did not believe O'Reilly had done anything wrong — making the women liars.
"I was actually very disappointed in Trump. I thought, 'You know what, fuck you.' He’s met me a bunch of times and he knows I’m not…" Huddy said, trailing off.
Originally published on BuzzFeed
Claudia Koerner
Claudia Koerner

October 24, 2016

As Clinton Talks Congress-Trump Threatens Lawsuits to Women Accusers

 Donald Trump with Jessica Drake in 2006. Photograph: Handout/Gloria Allred
Just look at the face full of satisfaction of the old man next to a well rounded woman

With the presidential election 17 days away, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both focused on other targets on Saturday.

Jessica Drake: porn star is 11th woman to allege Trump sexual misconduct

Trump used what was billed as a major policy address to threaten lawsuits against women who have accused him of sexual misconduct, hours before a new accuser came forward. Clinton, ahead in national polls by around six points, shifted her focus to the Senate and the House.

Speaking in Pittsburgh, Clinton turned her focus on to the incumbent Republican Pennsylvania senator Pat Toomey, who faces a tough re-election fight against Democrat Katie McGinty. Clinton boosted the challenger while criticizing Toomey, who has yet to say if he will vote for Trump in November.

Later, Clinton told reporters: “As we’re traveling in these last 17 days, we’re going to be emphasizing the importance of electing Democrats down the ballot.”

In Gettysburg, a stone’s throw from the site of the bloodiest battle in American history, Trump showed new venom as he attacked the women who have accused him of groping and inappropriate sexual advances.

“Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign, total fabrication,” Trump said of the 10 women who had then come forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, hours before an 11th, Jessica Drake, spoke at a press conference in Los Angeles.
 Porn star Jessica Drake is 11th woman to accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct
“The events never happened,” Trump added. “All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”

Speaking to a crowd who had been invited to hear a major policy speech, he added: “It was probably the [Democratic National Committee] and the Clinton campaign that put forward these liars with these fabricated stories.”

Later, speaking to reporters on her campaign plane, with running mate Tim Kaine at her side, Clinton said: “That is just not accurate.”

She added: “I saw where our opponent Donald Trump went to Gettysburg, one of the most extraordinary places in American history, and basically said if he’s president he’ll spend his time suing women who have made charges against him based on his behavior.

“Tim and I are going to keep talking about what we want to do if we’re given the great honor of serving as president and vice-president.”

The accusations against Trump have been made after the release earlier this month of a 2005 recording of him bragging about grabbing women by the genitalia and trying to “fuck” a married woman.

Trump subsequently apologized and, when questioned by moderator Anderson Cooper in the second presidential debate, denied that he had never actually engaged in such behavior. Women have since come forward to challenge that claim.

Drake, a 42-year-old porn star and sex educator, said on Saturday that Trump hugged her and kissed on the lips without permission at a golf tournament in Lake Tahoe “10 years ago”. She also said Trump offered her $10,000 to return to his hotel room alone.

Drake appeared at a press conference with the lawyer Gloria Allred, who released to the press a picture of Drake with Trump at the golf event. 

In an unattributed statement, the Trump campaign said: “This story is totally false and ridiculous. The picture is one of thousands taken out of respect for people asking to have their picture taken with Mr Trump.

“Mr Trump does not know this person, does not remember this person and would have no interest in ever knowing her.”

In Gettysburg, Trump also claimed the media fabricated stories to make him “look bad”, in particular, never showing or talking “about the massive crowd size” at his rallies.

He returned to other familiar topics, claiming without evidence the existence of massive voter fraud and attacking Clinton. At a rally in Cleveland on Saturday evening, he said his opponent was guilty of “opening the door to unlimited drugs pouring into your community”.

Trump eventually did use his speech in Gettysburg to attempt to put his policy proposals in new focus, with what his campaign had billed as his “Contract for the American Voter”.

He reiterated policies such as cutting taxes, increasing military spending, implementing ethics reform in Washington and building a wall on the Mexican border.

The setting for the speech – close to the battlefield where in 1863 Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address – was meant to be symbolic. Trump, campaign sources said, believes the country to be almost divided as it was during the civil war. That conflict lasted for more than four years. More than 600,000 Americans died.

December 19, 2013

Afghan Man Cuts Wife Nose She Refused to Give Him Money for Drugs

Aisha, who appeared on the cover of "Time" magazine in 2010, was not the last Afghan woman to be so disfigured.

A heroin addict was in need of a fix but had no money. So he ordered his wife to sell her jewelry and, when she refused, he hacked off her nose and lips. 

Thirty-year-old Sitara, who barely survived the brutal attack, says she suffered her horrific injuries at the hands of her husband, Azim.

It was hours before neighbors discovered Sitara in her home in the Anjil district of western Afghanistan's Herat Province. There they found her unconscious, covered with blood, and her nose and lips lying next to her on the floor.

Sitara was rushed to the hospital, where doctors were able to stabilize her condition. The incident created huge waves in the local and national media, prompting the Interior Ministry to launch a manhunt for Azim, who fled after the December 13 incident.

But while the authorities continue to search for Azim, hope for Sitara has grown.

On December 17, she was sent to Turkey to receive reconstructive surgery she could not get in Afghanistan. Dozens of Afghan women's rights activists accompanied her to Kabul's airport to show their support.

Violence Against Women Still Common

Sitara's story is all too common in Afghanistan, where violence against women is widespread.

Despite women making significant inroads since the end of Taliban rule, domestic abuse remains routine, forced marriages are the norm, and women are discouraged from going to school or working outside the home. Suicide rates among women are among the highest in the world.

Sitara's story is all too common in Afghanistan, where violence against women is widespread.
Sitara's story is all too common in Afghanistan, where violence against women is widespread.

Sitara's four young children witnessed the mutilation firsthand. It was their screams and sobbing that attracted the attention of their neighbors.

Fereshta, Sitara's 14-year-old daughter, says her father had a long history of drug abuse and would often beat her siblings and mother when money ran out. "Every time my mother refused to give money to my father, he would beat her," she told local media on December 15.

Sima Samar, the head of Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission, described the incident as barbaric. "This act is against human dignity. The perpetrator must be arrested and charged," she told a press conference in Kabul on December 16. "It can't be an excuse that he has run away -- police must take this seriously."

Police have arrested two people in connection with the incident. But their identities have not been revealed. Sitara's children have been placed under the care of relatives while she receives treatment abroad.

Sitara's treatment is being funded by the Counternarcotics Ministry and through money raised by several Afghan NGOs. Herat Governor Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi has agreed to support her family until she returns home.

Only Getting Worse

People in Herat have staged several protests in the last few days to demand justice. Demonstrators have accused the government of failing to prosecute perpetrators of violence against women and criticized religious figures over their silence after the attack.

The provincial department for women's affairs recently disclosed that 180 cases of violence against women have been registered this year -- an increase of more than 30 percent over last year.

A new United Nations report released this month showed the number of cases increasing across the country. The UN reported an almost 30 percent increase in cases of violence against women compared to last year.

Afghanistan enacted a landmark Elimination of Violence Against Women law in August 2009. The law criminalizes child marriage, selling and buying women to settle disputes, assault, and other acts of violence and abuse against women.

But the UN report says prosecutions of such cases have increased by only 2 percent compared to last year. The report concludes that the implementation of the law has been "slow and uneven."

More Aishas To Come?

Those numbers will do little to calm fears that the gains achieved by women over the past decade could be lost once international forces depart at the end of 2014. Their presence, along with millions of dollars in foreign aid and assistance, were seen as supporting the reestablishment of women's rights.

Sitara's story is reminiscent of another case that exposed the abused faced by Afghan women to the world.

Aisha, an Afghan teenager, came to symbolize the problem after a photo of her nose-less face appeared on the cover of "Time" magazine in the United States in 2010.

Aisha's abusive husband had beaten her and then hacked off her nose after she attempted to run away from home. Aisha underwent reconstructive surgery in the United States, where she currently resides.

By Frud Bezhan

March 10, 2013

GOP Celebrates International Women’s Day? NOO

Oppressed Women
March 8th was International Women’s Day – which is about recognizing and celebrating the advances women have made to be full members of society.  Most notably this year, we can celebrate the official recognition of the right to serve on the front lines has finally come.  We can celebrate that we’re getting closer to earning equal pay for doing the same work as our male counterparts.
If it seems like the list of things to celebrate is short, it’s because the steps backward are far greater. Our representation in positions of leadership is just one indicator of the many glass ceilings that have yet to be broken. The list of states in which womens’ access to abortions are either difficult or non-existent is growing.  The list of laws that seek to reduce women to reproductive mechanisms controlled by the state is also growing.
We can’t overlook the GOPs’ multi-pronged war on women that not only seeks to place our rights as persons under the constitution below that of corporations and zygotes; but also seeks to increase poverty among women. We saw it in the GOP’s sequester, and we’re seeing more of the same in the “negotiations” to avoid another government shutdown.
Terry O’Neil, President of NOW put the situation succinctly in astatement :
“In both the U.S. and many European countries, women make up the majority of employees in the public sector, and women also rely disproportionately on social service programs. Cuts to government spending invariably target these areas for a number of shameful reasons. First and foremost, women, people of color, people with disabilities and all of those struggling to get by are underrepresented in the halls of power and therefore easy scapegoats. Second, the proponents of such cuts are often beholden to big business, the wealthy and the military industrial complex, so those money-hoarders are off the hook. And third, shredding the safety net is already at the top of these guys’ agenda, so they’re only too happy to use government debt as an excuse to slash even deeper.”
Like their ideological playmates in Europe, Conservatives in America favor attacking public sector jobs most of which are held by women.  At the same time, the programs targeted for cuts affect women and children more dramatically than men. Cuts to programs like Head Start and Early Start mean 70,000 children  will lose their places.
Women’s access to healthcare will (of course) be adversely affected to the tune of $86 billion.
Also thanks to the GOP sequester $20 million will be cut from programs under the Violence Against Women Act.  Speaking of the VAWA, if the GOP had its way, the VAWA wouldn’t be law because in GOP speak, it includes “other different groups”… like Native women, Immigrant women, and members of the LGBT community.
The GOP continues to speak of the virtues of self-reliance while putting obstacles in place to make self-reliance a pipedream for most Americans, especially most women.
It doesn’t take much analysis to realize that the GOP’s “vision” for women resembles something out of a 1950′s sitcom, though the reality of their policies make their vision of well-coiffed American women vacuuming in high heels and pearls even more of an illusion than it was in the 1950′s.
European conservatives tried the very austerity policies that makes the GOP warm all over. Contrary to the GOP’s claims, austerity didn’t create jobs in Europe – it created unemployment and other repercussions.  The Boston Globe reports ”But the austerity cuts made to restore confidence in financial markets have helped push the region into recession and increase unemployment to record highs. Voters in several crisis-hit nations have protested such EU-led austerity by supporting euroskeptic parties, most recently in Italy.”
It isn’t surprising that women were affected more than men by thesepolicies. ”The economic crisis has affected women more than men but the crisis is also the opportunity to change the current situation,” said Gianni Pittella.
Obviously, facts and data won’t persuade conservatives that their policies aren’t working.  No matter what the polls say, conservatives remain convinced that their problem is bad messaging, rather than policies that take women, along with our economy and everything else that resembles “the land of the free” back to the days when freedom was a privilege reserved for white men.
Perhaps the best way to celebrate International Women’s Day is to recognize we live in a country in which only one political party stands for everyone’s present and future, including women.

January 23, 2013

India No 2 After Pakistan in Rapes is Thinking of May be Correcting This

A commission set up to suggest reforms to India's rape laws after last month's gang rape of a student has called for faster trials.
India is been called the world’s largest democracy. When in fact this is the world’s largest men's club. Men control everything including what women are allowed to run and win and once they are place as Prime Minister if they don’t follow the established road then they don’t loose an election, they get shot. Bhutto in Pakistan and in my time I can remember one in India.  If in the span of 20 years two get elected and one gets killed, that’s a ratio of half. Because women are given the task to take care of her family and family being her parents and his parents plus the off spring, which would be as many as he can make, particularly if she starts having girls instead of boys. Women are packed with so much that who has the time to get tough and push to get their spot at the table of politics.
Until the women realized that everything is connected in any sort of politics, if they don’t give themselves a priority to get involved in politics then rape, murder or what ever the men wants that is what happens. In India and Pakistan they sometimes they arrest the perpetrators but that is where the whole system stops.  No punishment, no matter how serious the offense.
This country was similar. No vote for women, the women takes care of the house and their men. This is tradition dictated by religion. Religions in which women had no say, so they get no rights. At least in this country (US) we had an influx from many countries many types of religions and many people coming here running away from religion and oppressive governments, they tend and tended to be more militant. As a result, even though it was not a long time ago, but they got the vote, they put pressure in the supreme court to give them wade and with it control of their own bodies, which before Wade they didn’t even have that.
I wanted to introduced the news coming to from India today to give a background so people can understand what is going on there. Recently there have been high profile cases but only because the media is made it that way. These crimes have been going on since the nation was formed.
Adam Gonzalez for adamfoxie*
 The panel, led by former chief justice JS Verma, also called for longer sentences but not the death penalty.

India's law minister said the report would get "government attention" soon.
The brutal assault on the 23-year-old student in Delhi in December shocked India and sparked a debate about the treatment of women.
Justice Verma said his three-member commission had received 80,000 responses from India and abroad on how to reform rape laws.
Among the recommendations of the report, submitted to the home ministry on Wednesday, were
  • broadening of the definition of what constituted sexual assault
  • cases to be tried in specially designated courts, preferably by women judges
  • quicker trials and faster processing of appeals in cases of crimes against women
  • more accountability for the police
  • better implementation of laws and the need for a change in the mindset of law-enforcers
  • strong action against those found guilty of trafficking and against security forces convicted of sexual assault in conflict zones.
  • uniform national protocol for the treatment and medical examination of rape survivors
The panel also recommended that those found guilty of rape leading to death spend the rest of their life in prison, but it stopped short of calling for the death penalty, something which many in India had pushed for, the BBC's Sanjoy Majumder reports from Delhi.
"What is needed to enforce laws is the sensitivity on the part of those who implement it," he told a news conference after submitting the report to the home ministry in Delhi.
"The state's role is not just punishing criminals but also to prevent crimes against women," he said.
Justice Verma said the authorities had failed in their duties to the public.
He said that despite the huge number of responses to the commission's request for ideas, not a single Indian state police chief had sent recommendations.
The head of the panel also praised young people for going into the streets to protest about the status quo.
"Youth has taught us what we, the older generation, were not aware of. I was struck by the peaceful manner in which the protests were carried out... the youth rose to the occasion," he said.
'Institutional bias'
Justice Leila Seth, another member of the commission, said police "don't take complaints of rape victims seriously".
"There is institutional bias against the weaker sections of society," she said.
The Verma committee also looked at marital rapes and physical, sexual and psychological violence in the family.
Justice Verma said he hoped that the report would be taken seriously by the government.
The student raped in December, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was attacked after boarding a bus in south Delhi with a male friend.
Police said the assailants beat both of them, and then raped the woman. She suffered massive internal injuries and died nearly two weeks later.
The incident led to nationwide protests against the treatment of women in India. Campaigners called for tougher rape laws and reforms to the police, who have been accused of often failing to file charges against attackers.
Earlier this week, the trial of five men held for the crime began at a specially convened fast-track court.
If convicted, the men could face the death penalty. A sixth suspect, who is thought to be 17, is expected to be tried by a juvenile court.
The government has said it will bring in stronger sexual assault laws and has established several committees to recommend changes.
It has also promised to fast-track future rape cases. Legal proceedings in India sometimes involve years of delays.
There are believed to be about 95,000 rape cases pending nationwide, according to Ranjana Kumari, a women's activist.
News out of BBC

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