Alexia Norton Jones, the granddaughter of book publisher W.W. Norton, says she was raped by music mogul Russell Simmons in 1990. Jones’ claim brings the count of women who say they have been sexually assaulted or harassed by Simmons to over a dozen.
But just who is Alexia Norton Jones? Why might her name sound familiar, and who was her father? Read on to find out.
1. She Claims That Simmons Raped Her in 1990
After a date with Russell Simmons in 1990, Alexia Norton Jones says the music mogul invited her to his apartment. There, she says, he “pinned her against a wall and raped her.”
Speaking to Variety, Jones said, “It was such a fast attack… He pulled my dress up. I must have said no seven to 10 times.”
In response to Jones’ claims, Simmons issued a statement to Variety. “I’m deeply saddened by this story from Alexia… At no time did she share these feelings about her first sexual encounter with me, which took place roughly 28 years ago. I have taken multiple lie detector tests that affirm I never sexually assaulted anyone. Alexia and I dated, were intimate and attended multiple events together after she alleges the incident occurred in 1990. I considered her a friend for all these years and continue to have a warm relationship with members of her family. I believe we last spoke in 2006 when she called to express her disappointment over the fact that I had not attended an event honoring her father.”
Simmons’ driver at the time, Kenneth L Jennings, also issued a statement to Variety that read, “I recall driving Mr. Simmons and Alexia Jones on about 10 to 12 dates in or about 1990. Their relationship lasted approximately five months.”
2. She Says She Is Not Seeking Any Monetary Damages
According to Variety, Jones is not seeking monetary damages. Rather, she “wanted to stand with the other alleged victims of abuse by the music mogul and producer.”
Jones filed a police report with the NYPD last spring, but her case did not fall within the statute of limitations.
Although Simmons said he and Jones dated, the latter says they were never in a relationship.
In January, the NYPD said that it had opened an investigation into Simmons after two new rape allegations surfaced. In making the announcement, the police sergeant shared, “The NYPD has received information regarding allegations involving Russell Simmons in the New York City area, and our detectives are in the process of reviewing that information.”
3. Her Father Was Martin Luther King Jr.’s Speechwriter
Jones’ father, Clarence Jones, was both a good friend and the lawyer to Martin Luther King Jr.
On top of that, he was a speechwriter and was an “integral” part in writing King Jr.’s “I have a dream speech”, according to NBC 12 News.
These days, Clarence Jones is a Scholar in Residence at the Martin Luther King Jr. Institute at Stanford University. He is also the author of “What Would Martin Say?” and “Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation.”
Jones hails from Philadelphia and graduated from Palmyra High School. He graduated from Columbia University, after which he was drafted into the US Army.
4. She Is a Model and Actress
At the time when the alleged rape took place, Jones was 31, and an actress and model, according to Variety.
In her own words (included in Variety’s article), Jones says that as a child, her parents allowed her to be photographed and to model. After college, she did some commercial work to make more money.
In the late 80s, she worked as an agent for Hall of Fame star Dave Winfield’s novel, “Winfield: A Player’s Life.” Jones’ bio on The Clay Center’s website states that she is passionate about literature, theater, and the creative arts.
5. She Suffers from a Rare Disease
In 2011, David Katz, MD, penned an article for the Huffington Post about the need for personal care when it comes to patients in the medical world.
He cited his relationship with Jones in an effort to prove his point. “My passions on this topic have recently been stirred by my ongoing correspondence with Alexia Norton-Jones.” Katz continued by saying that Alexia, and many of her family members, suffers from periodic paralysis.
Dr. Jacob Levitt, of Mount Sinai Medical Center, states that the disease is a “neuromuscular ion channelopathy where the voltage gating gets perturbed due to a mutation such that imbalances in potassium, inside and outside the cell, cause the voltage gate to shut off, rendering the muscle membrane inexcitable and thereby causing paralysis.”