Kimora Lee Simmons has opened up about her daughter Aoki’s online drama with ex-husband Russell.
When asked about the public feud between her ex and her daughter during an interview with Bustle, the Baby Phat CEO, 48, told the outlet that it was “game over” for her when she found out that Russell was coming after Aoki, 21, and that she stood by her daughter as she took to social media to expose her father.
“Some people were like: ‘Oh, how spoiled does she sound, that you are never going to work again, that your dad has to go get you everything?’” Kimora explained to the outlet. “[But] she wasn’t saying: ‘My dad has to go get me everything.’ She was saying: ‘My dad has threatened to cancel everything that he could because they were his friends and because he was the more popular one or powerful one and that’s wrong.’”
The feud began this summer, when Aoki wished her father a “Happy Father’s Day” and snubbed Russell.
The mogul then took to his Instagram Story to write: “Stop telling fathers they should have fought harder to see their children and start asking mothers why he had to fight at all.”
Aoki was quick to call her father out. She posted a video on Instagram of her father seemingly yelling at her over FaceTime. “This is not someone who will accept help. This is just one screen recording. Sorry, I don’t always remember to press ‘record’ when he calls my friends, my boyfriend, anyone, to get a chance to threaten and curse and go crazy,” the model wrote, adding in a caption that she was concerned that her father was “mentally ill or experiencing something like dementia”.
At the time, Aoki received some backlash for posting about her feud with her father. On the social media platform, the Harvard graduate wrote alongside an old photo of her and the recording executive: “Until a short time ago, this is the man who told me ‘always defend and look after your mother girls’ and ‘never let a man curse at you, you call daddy if a man ever tries to yell at you or scare you that’s never ok! Real men don’t shout at women and girls.’”
“So to all the toxic men in my comments using ‘I’m defending him’ to be foul and talk about all the grievances you have with women, you can save it,” she continued. “It’s pathetic. He would agree I know that for sure.”
While speaking to Bustle, Kimora reflected on her own experiences, saying that early on, she “just sat there quietly and I took things”. According to the fashion mogul, the last thing she wants for her daughters - Aoki and Ming, 23 - is to experience the same.
The former model - who is also mom to Wolfe, eight, Gary, 13, Kenzo, 14, from other relationships - added: “At the end of the day, you go to bed, you’re with yourself. You have to be proud of the steps you’ve made and definitely not let somebody bully you or push you over ... I don’t care if that’s your dad, your uncle, your friend, someone you don’t know, we’re not going to have it.”
She also noted that she considers herself a “single mom,” and Russell, along with the other fathers of her children, are largely absentee parents. “Men, powerful men, famous men, rich men, business rich men, whatever you want to call it. There’s a thing there and I don’t know what it is, but I don’t really have a great relationship with any of them and they’ve left me to it to just kind of do things on my own. I do everything on my own,” she said.