Russell Simmons is more than just a man who loves yoga and jamming to def comedy; he also cares about the people. We think. Either way, when we heard that he and wife-slash-living Bratz doll Kimora Lee Simmons (shown here in an undated photo, possibly from the 2003 sideways ballcap awards) were holding a press conference on diamonds this afternoon, we sent Idolator Intern Cortney Harding to the scene. She stormed out of the room, ran into a phone booth, and filed this report.
Remember the blood running down the hand of the newly engaged woman in Kanye’s “Diamonds are Forever” video? Well, it turns out that is wasn’t the blood of innocent Africans, but rather, delicious maple syrup. Or so Russell Simmons would like you to believe. The hip-hop kingpin held a press conference today in order to let everyone know that he just got back from Africa, and things in the diamond mines are fine and dandy.
Simmons took the stage with Hip Hop Action Network president Dr. Benjamin Chavis and Simmons Jewelry honcho Scott Rauch, while Kimora Lee “Fabulosity” Simmons showed up late and didn’t say a word. Despite this, Russell sought to overtake Jay-Z and Beyonce in the “fake couple of the year” race by continually referring to her as his wife.
That was perhaps the only time Simmons deviated from his message, which was, essentially, “Diamond mines are great for Africa, movies like Blood Diamond are lies, and, by the way, did I mention I’m launching a new line of diamond bling?” He continually praised the efforts of the government in Botswana, where 84% of the income to the government is derived from the diamond industry. He also trotted out reps of the government and De Beers, all of whom took great pains to pooh-pooh any notions of the diamond industry being corrupt and murderous. Simmons also told the crowd that Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly had both called him to say they had changed their tunes about the ills of the industry, despite starring in a new film about just that topic. At the end of the conference, he took time to give some shout-outs to a cape-clad Reverend Run and Jim Jones.