Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons are known for being one of the most amicable former couples in Hollywood. But it looks like there is tension behind the scenes after the Def Jam founder launched a lawsuit against his ex-wife for allegedly stealing some of his Celsius energy drink stock.
Russell is suing his ex and her current husband Tim Leissner for allegedly transferring and using his Celsius shares to pay for Leissner’s legal fees, The Blast reports.
The hip-hop mogul filed the suit after his accountants discovered a “substantial unexplained change” in his interests in Celsius. Russell, his ex-wife, and Leissner came together to invest tens of millions of dollars into Celsius.
But, now his lawyers say Kimora and Leissner allegedly “conspired with each other, aided and abetted each other and together engaged in fraud by causing an unlawful conversion and fraudulent transfer” of Russell’s Celsius shares without his consent or knowledge.
The best-selling author believes his ex-wife and Leissner transferred his shares to themselves without his knowledge and had it not been for his accounting team, he might’ve never known.
On May 5, Russell sent his wife a letter in hopes of rectifying the issue privately instead of filing the suit, Rolling Out reports. The letter was an effort “to get the important family matter of the Celsius shares to a close so that we can put it behind us and carry on as the loving united front we have always been.”
But now his suit is seeking restitution for the alleged stolen shares.
“I am shocked and saddened to see how your side has behaved in response to my repeated attempts to get an agreement from you to rightfully and legally reaffirm my 50% of the Celsius shares…which have been locked up with the government after being used for your husband’s bail money,” the letter read.
Back in December 2019, the DOJ charged Leissner with conspiring to launder money and violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The former Goldman Sachs executive agreed to a permanent ban from the securities industry and to surrender $43.7 million in damages, NY Times reports.
But it looks like Leissner resorted to drastic measures to pay his bills and dragged his wife and her ex-husband along for the ride.