The Simmons family has been swept up by a very public display of family drama that has fans and critics alike weighing in. Since then, Aoki Lee Simmons claims she is now also the target of online harassment by those seemingly defending her father.
The family’s turmoil came to light when Ming Lee Simmons reportedly gave her mother, Kimora Lee Simmons, a Father’s Day shoutout via an Instagram post on Sunday instead of Russell Simmons, who she accused of “threatening” their lives.
Kimora and her daughter Aoki then spent the holiday weekend speaking about Russell and the years of emotional and verbal abuse they claim he has imposed on all of them.
The 20-year-old also rushed to her sister’s defense on Wednesday, sharing a series of cryptic messages on her Instagram Story and hosting tearful Instagram Live sessions standing by the comments about Russell’s behavior.
Part 1: It’s been an interesting day for Russell Simmons. Earlier today, his ex wife Kimora aired him out on IG Live. And now, his daughter Aoki has taken to her live in tears, crying about how he allegedly treats her mother & sister. Russell was in the comments apologizing. pic.twitter.com/SIvrtL70YC
— theJasmineBRAND (@thejasminebrand) June 19, 2023
In a post with a photo of her younger self and Simmons, Aoki doubled down on her position, speaking out in defense of her mom and older sister.
“Until a short time ago, this is the man who told me ‘always defend and look after your mother girls’ and ‘never let a man curse at you’ [and] ‘you call Daddy if a man ever tried to yell you or scare you that’s never ok!’ Real men don’t shout at women and girls,” the Harvard graduate said.
“So to all the toxic men in my comments using ‘I’m defending him’ to be foul and talk about all the grievances you have with women, you can save it,” she wrote, directing her ire at those still coming to her father’s defense.
“It’s pathetic. He would agree I know that for sure,” the runway model added.
In her third and final post, Aoki recalled her father advising her things like, “Always defend your mother and sister” and “Don’t let any man talk to you crazy.”
“I’m just following instructions here, [people],” she concluded.
She ended her sentiments by addressing comments from her followers stemming from the bombshell revelations.
“I wonder how your mothers, sisters, daughters, nieces, girlfriends, wives, would feel seeing some of the sexiest, racist, honestly foul comments and messages some of you ‘men’ are leaving me,” she wrote on her Instagram Story on Wednesday.
Aoki said she has seen “misogynistic stereotypes and names” and “absolute hate for women of color” in her inbox.
“I only see one bitter mess in a DM between a 40+-year-old male stranger yelling at me about ‘all the bitter black women’ I represent,” she said, referencing one heckler. “And it’s not the 20-year-old on the receiving end.”
This comes on the heels of the Def Jam Recordings executive seemingly apologizing to Aoki and Ming on Tuesday.
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“God is testing you a little bit, it’s ok, be strong… they are called growing pains… as you know, we grow through adversity and struggle,” Russell wrote in the caption.
“DEEPLY sorry for being frustrated and yelling,” the 65-year-old concluded. “But know this… there are no conditions… for sure, I love you guys more than I love myself.”
At one time or another, the Simmons family seemed to have a healthy relationship, with Russell even joining Kimora and her kids (and ex-Tim Leissner) on vacation. Kimora also at one point defended Russell against allegations of sexual misconduct in 2018.
Is reconciliation possible? We’ll have to watch and see.