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Russell Simmons at Tantris Yoga Center in West Hollywood in November 2016.
Russell Simmons at Tantris Yoga Center in West Hollywood in November 2016. (Francine Orr)

In response to allegations of sexual misconduct, music mogul Russell Simmons said a 1991 encounter with then-17-year-old model Keri Claussen Khalighi was “consensual.”

Khalighi told The Times that Simmons made aggressive sexual advances toward her in 1991 at his apartment and tried to force her to have intercourse. Simmons eventually relented and coerced her to perform oral sex as his protege at the time, Brett Ratner, “just sat there and watched,” Khalighi alleged to The Times.

Simmons, the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, said in a letter published Wednesday in the Hollywood Reporter that Khalighi, in subsequent conversations and in a meeting many years later, “never accused me of what she has said publicly.”

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Tommy Keene
Tommy Keene (Mariela T. Huerta)

The  guitar pop singer and songwriter Tommy Keene, whose death was announced on Thursday, wasn’t a household name. Among masters of the craft, however, he was considered one of the best songwriters of his generation, and many of them lined up to celebrate an artist whose knack for melody and hook propelled his cult-classic albums, including “Songs From the Film,” “Based on Happy Times” and “Isolation Party.”

Keene’s death was confirmed by his publicist, Cary Baker, who wrote that “the 59 year-old Keene passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully, in his sleep at his Los Angeles area home on Wednesday.” 

A major figure in the so-called “power pop” movement that sprouted in the 1970s and ‘80s, Keene worked alongside or inspired kindred spirits including the dBs, Matthew Sweet, Guided by Voices, the Replacements and Ted Leo. Like those he affected, Keene focused on three- and four-minute songs that adhered to — and thrived within — the strictures of classic American popular song structure.

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Actress Uma Thurman posted a Thanksgiving message on Thursday that further illuminated her recent statement expressing anger at revelations of sexual misconduct in the film industry. 

In a mid-October red carpet video interview, Thurman indicated she was hesitant to address the issue because “I’m not a child and I’ve learned that when I’ve spoken in anger, I usually regret the way I express myself.”

The actress is perhaps best known for her work with director Quentin Tarantino, whose films including “Pulp Fiction” and the “Kill Bill” series were financed by film mogul Harvey Weinstein. The executive has been the subject of dozens of allegations of sexual misconduct.

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(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Going through a difficult chapter of your life is hard enough. To then have a camera in your face while you're doing it? I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy's dog.

Fans of wisecracking robots and terrible science fiction flicks, rejoice: “Mystery Science Theater 3000” will return for a new season on Netflix.

The news of the 12th season was announced at the end of the annual  “MST3K” Thanksgiving marathon hosted by Jonah Ray, Felicia Day and Joel Hodgson. The reveal didn’t include a premiere date, but the corresponding news release promised the new season would drop in the “not-too-distant-future.” 

In 2015 “MST3K” series creator Hodgson (along with the American home video company Shout! Factory) launched a Kickstarter in hopes of resurrecting the scrappy series, which aired from 1988 to 1999. 

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  • Birthdays
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

I want to be a role model. And my job is to be a role model. But that shouldn't require me to be a parent. I'm going to make mistakes. While your kids are growing up, I have to grow up too.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Miley Cyrus has poise aplenty

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Jennifer Lawrence and writer-director Darren Aronofsky at the New York premiere of 'Mother!' in September.
Jennifer Lawrence and writer-director Darren Aronofsky at the New York premiere of 'Mother!' in September. (Michael Loccisano / Getty Images)

Lawrofsky is no more — as if the portmanteau ever was — because Jennifer Lawrence and Darren Aronofsky have reportedly called it quits.

The Oscar-winning actress and "Mother!" director dated for about a year before splitting last month, “Entertainment Tonight” and People reported. And though their romantic relationship is over, the two appear to be proceeding with their cordial professional relationship as "Mother!" does the rounds for awards season.

It was an amicable split and the two remain friends, a source told “ET,” which also reported that the two were friendly when they sat together at the film academy's Governors Awards in Los Angeles earlier this month. 

Melissa Schuman is seen in 2001 when she was with Dream; Nick Carter appears in 2017.
Melissa Schuman is seen in 2001 when she was with Dream; Nick Carter appears in 2017. (Arista Records, left; Richard Shotwell / Associated Press, right)

Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys has been accused of rape by Melissa Schuman, a former member of the girl group Dream, who says the singer had oral sex and intercourse with her against her will at his apartment when he was 22 and she was 18. 

Carter, now 37, said in a statement Wednesday that he was “shocked and saddened” by Schuman’s allegation, which he said he was hearing for the first time.

Schuman wrote early in November on her personal blog that she met Carter over the phone via their reps when she was 18 and accepted an offer to hang out with friends at his apartment. Carter provided alcohol, she said. Schuman described a night of Carter leading her from room to room and escalating his sexual behavior — including performing oral sex on her and initiating intercourse — despite what she said were continued refusals to consent.

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  • Late-night

It's been nearly seven weeks since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, releasing a wave of long-hidden sexual misconduct claims and allowing late-night hosts to stoke the fires of their righteous indignation.

After another wave of particularly abhorrent allegations, Seth Meyers used Tuesday night's "A Closer Look" segment on "Late Night" to tee off on veteran newsman Charlie Rose and his ilk.

“Here’s a good rule of thumb,” Meyers said. “If your face isn’t pulling in the babes, your penis isn’t going to make the difference.” 

Keri Claussen Khalighi, the former model who recently accused Russell Simmons and Brett Ratner of sexual misconduct, appeared on "Megyn Kelly Today" on Wednesday to share what transpired after her experience with the music mogul and director.

 “Russell and I have had a face-to-face about what happened, where there was no dispute about what happened," Khalighi said. "He actually apologized."

In an interview with The Times recently, Khalighi detailed an incident that took place when she was a 17-year-old model in 1991, during which she alleges that Simmons made an aggressive sexual advance toward her while Ratner looked on.