Things are heating up between music mogul Russell Simmons and his ex-wife, Baby Phat founder Kimora Lee Simmons–legally, that is.
Kimora wants the court to order the Def Jam Records co-founder to pay her nearly $120,000, according to Radar. Russell and Kimora divorced in 2009 after 11 years of marriage.
The pair have been in and out of court, and Kimora wants the money to pay for her legal fees, according to court documents obtained by RadarOnline.com. She’s seeking $83,000 in attorneys’ fees and $35,000 for the costs of preparing the motion.
The legal fees stem from an ongoing lawsuit initiated by Russell last year. He sued Kimora and her now-estranged husband/investment banker Tim Leissner.
Leissner had been embroiled in legal problems of his own. In 2018, the former Goldman Sachs head banker in Asia was accused of helping to divert billions of dollars from the Malaysian State Fund 1MDB. In 2020, he pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and agreed to pay $43.7 million into a compensation fund for victims. Leissner, who is due to be sentenced next year, also has cooperated with the government by testifying against a former colleague who was involved in the scheme.
Despite their divorce, Russell and Kimora remained in business together. In 2016, Lee and Leissner joined Russell’s investment company, Nu Horizons. Nu Horizons holds shares in Celsius. But this business relationship soured when Russell alleged that Kimora committed business fraud to help out Leissner. In 2021, Russell sued her for fraud and allegedly stealing stocks from their business venture to pay Leissner’s bond in the 1MDB case.
In his suit, Russell’s lawyer wrote, “Knowing full well that [Tim] would need tens of millions of dollars to avoid jail time, stay out on bail and forfeit monies for victim compensation, [Tim and Kimora] engaged in this blatant fraud to achieve that nefarious and unlawful goal.”
Russell claimed that Lee and Leissner conspired to fraudulently transfer almost 4 million shares of the energy-drink company Celsius to their accounts. The lawsuit also accused the couple of breach of contract and breach of confidential relations.
Now in her lawsuit, Kimora is arguing that she had no duty to inform Russell of her decision to withdraw shares because Russell had resigned as manager of Nu Horizons in 2018, Radar reported.
According to Kimora’s lawyer, “At the time [Tim & Kimora] used the Celsius shares for purposes of the bond in connection with the federal case, [Kimora] understood and believed that [Tim & Kimora] were authorized to use the shares for the bond.”
Kimora also added in the suit that the shares were only temporarily held by the government and would ultimately be returned.