Sil Lai Abrams, an author, inspirational speaker and domestic violence activist, named Russell Simmons and A.J. Calloway as the men who she said sexually assaulted her in an article published in The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday. Abrams, 47, called out Simmons, 60, for rape and Calloway, 43, for assault.
She wrote a detailed chain of events involving NBC and host Joy Reid, who she said she reached out to for help to get her story to the world. Abrams said she felt emboldened to talk with so many women coming forward with the #MeToo movement.
“I needed to tell my story, to say his name out loud, to let people know what he had done to me,” Abrams said.
What Abrams revealed was outlined in several documents, confirmed through witnesses, spelled out in text messages and the subject of several court orders including orders of protection. Simmons raped her when she was 24 at his penthouse during a night of partying in 1994, she said. Calloway exposed himself twice, among other disgusting things, while in a car in front of her home after the two went for a drink in December 2006, she claimed. The incidents had devastating effects on her, she added.
For those familiar with Abrams’ work, her statements were not new. The multihyphenate had previously laid bare two stories of sexual assaults — 12 years apart — in her 2007 book,”No More Drama.” She left out the names of the attackers, but has now charged them publicly.
With sharing the story, Abrams continued her pattern of raising her voice for survival.
Abrams was going to open up again about sexual assaults to Reid, who she approached last November after speaking about domestic violence as a guest on the cable news host’s show. The author soon learned that her move in making contact with Reid was followed by the same from model Keri Claussen Khalighi on November 19 to name Simmons in a 1991 assault.
Now, at least a dozen women have outed Simmons, who denies the charges, for assault and rape, using news platforms to do it.
Abrams couldn’t move forward with NBC after the network put her through the grinding vetting process and put her story on ice earlier this year, but she will not be quiet, she said.
“Stories are being silenced and it doesn’t matter how much information, how much corroboration and evidence that you have,” Abrams said. “You can do everything the right way and you’ll still be shut down because a news organization doesn’t want to take a risk and face a potential lawsuit, which perpetuates the abuse of power and empowers men like Simmons to say they’re going to be OK.”
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‘I Needed To Tell My Story:’ Sil Lai Abrams Names Russell Simmons, A.J. Calloway In Sexual Assaults was originally published on newsone.com