Co-parenting for Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee just got a little more complicated…

On Tuesday, the 63-year-old music producer sued his ex-wife and Tim Leissner for allegedly attempting to steal shares from an investment to pay for her husband’s legal and bail fees stemming from a 2018 money laundering case, per E! News.

According to court documents, the couple reportedly entered a business deal with Simmons after joining his company Nu Horizons in 2016. The venture reportedly put in “tens of millions of dollars” into the energy drink brand Celsius; Russell now claims nearly 4 million shares from that were “fraudulently transferred” as collateral for a bond connected to Leissner’s federal charges.

In case you didn’t know, the drama all started when Tim pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit money laundering in the 1MDB fraud case while working at Goldman Sachs. He also agreed to cough up $44 million to avoid jail time. In the lawsuit, Simmons alleges he had no clue of the fund transfers until a year later when his accountants made the shady discovery.

“In short, knowing full well that Defendant Leissner would need tens of millions of dollars to avoid jail time, stay out on bail, and forfeit monies for victim compensation, engaged in this blatant fraud to achieve that nefarious and unlawful goal.”


The Def Jams Recordings co-founder claimed in the complaint he “has repeatedly tried for years to avoid filing this lawsuit and resolve it amicably.” Most recently, the father attempted to handle the situation without the court’s involvement by pleading with Lee in a letter “to get the important family matter of the Celsius shares to a close so that we can put it behind us and carry on as the loving united front we have always been.” The message continued:

“As you know, throughout my entire decades-long partnership with you I’ve done everything and anything to protect and promote our family. I have never said no to any request and have always gone against my own council to offer up much more than any judge would ever require of me in order to keep the peace.”

Simmons then asked that the 46-year-old designer help “reaffirm” 50 percent of his shares of Celsius, explaining:

“I have invited you to share in many of my business opportunities including introducing you to Celsius which has been very lucrative for you. I am shocked and saddened to see how your side has behaved in response to my repeated attempts to get an agreement from you to rightfully and legally reaffirm my 50% of the Celsius shares, which have been locked up with the government after being used for your husband’s bail money.”

The Vacation’s Over artist added how he didn’t approve nor was aware of the stock transfer, saying:

“This, by the way, having been done under an ILLEGAL transfer of my funds that I had NO KNOWLEDGE OF and would have never agreed to.”

And we aren’t done yet, guys….

Following the whole ordeal, Kimora released a statement to People through her legal team addressing the accusations made by her ex-husband. It began:

“Kimora and her children are shocked by the extortive harassment coming from her ex-husband, Russell Simmons, who has decided to sue her for shares and dividends of Celsius stock in which Kimora and Tim Leissner invested millions of dollars. This is an ill-advised attempt by Russell to use the legal system to access funds he is in no way entitled to, and which his own legal team confirms Russell did not pay for.”

Without going into details, the message continued:

“Russell’s continued aggressive behavior not only blatantly distorts the facts, but is simply a desperate PR ploy ignoring the years of mental and emotional anguish, gaslighting, and ongoing harassment he has inflicted on Kimora.”

Now, what does she even mean? As you may know, Simmons was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women in 2018. In the past, Kimora has denied the allegations against her former partner. So we can assume she is talking about the impact this has had on her — unless there’s more going on here.

The legal counsel then stated how Simmons will be “held accountable” for his “serial abuse” as they deal with the claims regarding the Celsius stocks.

“We will confront his baseless claims that he is warranted Celsius stock dividends despite his self-admitted zero contribution. This extortion attempt is especially egregious given that Russell remains contractually in debt to Kimora for millions of dollars in unpaid business loans. Our team is actively working to put a firm end to his harassment, which continues despite Russell having fled the country – he will face his own reckoning in the US court.”

Oof, this is all just very, very messy! What are your thoughts on the lawsuit Russell has filed against Kimora? Do U think it is all a cover-up for something else like she suggested? Sound OFF in the comments (below).

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