In 1983, Russell co-founded Def Jam with Rick Rubin, record producer and co-president of Columbia Records. Having gained the knowledge of music production, he started his own business and became the CEO of Rush Communication Inc. where he runs over ten for-profit business and three non-profit business.
On the other side, Russel Simmons is also an author. Collecting all his experiences from the entertainment and personal life, he has written several books. He published Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money, + Gold in 2002, Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway in 2005, Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success in 2008, Super Rich in 2011, Success Through Stillness in 2014 and The Happy Vegan in 2015.
Russell is vegan, a person who does not eat or use animal products since 1999. He is the supporter of Farm Sanctuary, which works against animal cruelty. He was awarded PETA Humanitarian Award in 2001 and Person of the Year Award in 2011 for his outstanding work. Additionally, he is a strong supporter of gay rights and same-sex marriage.
Moving toward his personal life, Russell Simmons married his girlfriend Kimora Lee, a model, in 1998. The couple started dating since 1992 and married on the island of Saint Barthelemy. Russell and Kimora gave birth to their first child, Ming Lee, in 2000, and second child, Aoki Lee, in 2002. After eight years of marital relationship, the couple announced their divorce in 2006.
After getting divorced for his first wife, Simmons dated several girlfriends. He had an affair with Hana Nitsche, Melissa George, Angela Martini, Heidy Allende, Jaslene Gonzalez, Paige Butcher, Noemie Lenoir, Julie Henderson, Sophie Monk, Katie Rost, etc. But he didn' t married or had any children with his girlfriends.
Recently, Russell has been through rape allegations since November 2017. Russell accused of sexually assaulting Keri Claussen Khalighi, a model, in 1991. According to her, When she was 17 years old and Simmons was 35, he forced her to perform oral sex on him at his apartment and raped her in the shower.
Being an American entrepreneur, producer, and author, Russell Simmons earned pretty well. His sources of income include his recording company of which he is both a CEO and chairman of fashion lines. His current estimated net worth is around $350 million.