April 1, 2006
Hip-hop couple Russell Simmons and Kimora split
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hip hop power couple Russell Simmons
and Kimora Lee Simmons, a model and head of the Baby Phat
fashion label, have separated after seven years of marriage,
Russell Simmons' agent said on Friday.
"Kimora and I will remain committed parents and caring
friends with great love and admiration for each other,"
Simmons, 48, said in a statement issued by his agent.
The statement said the couple, who have two daughters, had
been separated for some time, although they had continued
living under the same roof.
Simmons, the founder of Def Jam Records, which produced
many of the top names in hip hop, married Kimora Lee in 1998
after meeting her when she was modeling at New York Fashion
The two are partners in various business ventures and
Simmons -- whose empire ranges from music to fashion, yoga and
beverages -- said they would still work together.
"We will ... continue to work side by side on a daily basis
as partners in all of our businesses," he said.
Considered a hip-hop pioneer, he started Def Jam with Rick
Rubin in Rubin's dorm room at New York University in 1984. Def
Jam was the original home to some of the first mainstream rap
stars such as the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy.
He sold Def Jam in 1999 for $100 million and it is now part
of the Universal Music Group, part of French media conglomerate