Police in New York investigating rap mogul Russell Simmons

Despite protesting his innocence, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons stepped down from his business empire in November 2017.

NEW YORK (AFP) - Police in New York are investigating allegations made by several women who have accused hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of rape and sexual abuse, a spokesman told AFP Thursday (Nov 14, US time).

"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," Sergeant Brendan Ryan said.

On Wednesday, The New York Times published the accounts of three women who all say they were raped by the 60-year-old hip-hop legend, an influential figure who co-founded Def Jam Recordings.

The 60-year-old hip-hop legend denied the rape accusations - which date back to 1988 - and voiced support for the growing movement of women speaking out against abusive men.

He has also denied two other accusations which emerged in November. Jenny Lumet - daughter of director Sidney Lumet - alleged that Simmons raped her in 1991, while former model Claussen Khalighi said he sexually assaulted her during the same year.

Despite protesting his innocence, Simmons stepped down from his business empire at the end of November.

Simmons and fellow producer Rick Rubin helped bring hip-hop to wide US audiences in the 1980s when they founded Def Jam, a label that signed major acts such as the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J and later Public Enemy.

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