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Alexia Norton Jones

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Alexia Norton Jones is an American​ Author​, Playwright​, and and Spokesperson​ known for being the granddaughter of William Warder Norton, the founder of W. W. Norton & Company​. [1]​​[2]​ She is associated with the Martin Luther King Jr.​ family and is often involved in their legacy projects across the United States​. [3]

 

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Photo of Alexia Norton Jones that has been shared by several news articles.

In July 10th, 2018, Jones co-published an article with Variety​ in which she gives details to the alleged rape she experienced by Russell Simmons​. [4]

 

Biography

Early Life

Alexia was born in 1959 in state of New York​, a state where she would live for most of her life. [5]​ She was born to biracial parents, Ann Norton Jones and Clarence Jones, a couple who years before, in 1956, married in what was considered the first high society interracial weddings. [6]​ Alexia's great-grandfather on her mother's side founded the Journal of Biological Chemistry; and her grandfather, William Warder Norton​, is the founder of W. W. Norton & Company​. [7]

 

Her father, Clarence, became an important attorney in the music industry and also worked as a music executive. He would eventually become Martin Luther King Jr.'s attorney, and later on, his draft speech writer. [8]​ Her mother, Ann, was a social worker​ who ensured that her biracial children would not experience the abject poverty their father had in the United States as an African American. [9]

 

Sexual Abuse

In an article with Variety that she co-authored, Jones reveals that she was sexually abused when she was a young teenager. [8]

 

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Alexia Norton Jones with her father.

Nim Chimpsky

At the age of 14 years old, Jones became friends with the chimpanzee, Nim Chimpsky​. [10]​ Nim would take his daily walks in front of her house and she would eventually befriend him. She became an integral part in Nim's process to understand sign language and communication with humans as he was just a baby. When Nim began to grow older, she started seeing him less and less as the organizations involved with the experiments no longer considered the interactions safe. [11]​ 

 

Model

Since she was a little girl, her parents allowed Alexia to be photographed as a child model. She would continue until her teenage years and would not return until during and after college. [12]

 

New York City

Ever since she was a teenager, she went out in the city of New York a lot with her friends. They would spend a lot of time at upscale clubs. Though she was not into the drug scene, along with her friends, she also wasn't a big dancer and neither a drinker. [13]

 

After college she studied Chinese Medicine​ while also getting commercial modeling as a way to make extra money on the side. [14]

 

Career

In the late ‘80s, she found some success as an agent for Hall of Fame Baseball star Dave Winfield​’s book, “Winfield: A Player’s Life,” which became a bestseller. [15]

 

In the mid-’80s she was as an executive assistant at Inter City Broadcasting Corporation. Her father was given a job by Percy Sutton​ and also brought over Alexia to join in the venture. [16]

During this time at Inner City, she met hundreds of people in both the film and music industry including Queen Latifah​ and Run DMC​ in their early careers. [17]​ She would eventually meet Russell Simmons​. [18]

 

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Alexia Norton Jones at a gala ceremony.

Writer 

Alexia would continue to be involved in a number of projects over the following decades. She wrote a memoir called The Gods Make Great, as well as a situation comedy teleplay entitled "Over The Top," loosely based upon her real life adventures as a "biracial heiress with no airs." [19]

 

Over the years, she has written several pieces regarding experiences in her affiliation with the Martin Luther King Jr. family as she is also involved in their legacy projects. [20][21][22]​ She has also written about mental health and is a part of The Clay Center For Young Healthy Minds. [23]

 

In The Media 

Rape Allegations & Variety 

On July 10th, 2018, Alexia co-authored an article on Variety​ in which she reveals her unwanted encounter with hip hop mogul, Russell Simmons​. [24]​ In the article, she reveals that some time in November, 1990, when she finally agreed to go on a date with Simmons, he took her to his new apartment and began to sexually assault her. As she recalls, she was attacked in what Simmons believed was an amorous affair. [25]​ She writes the following about the encounter: 

I didn’t want to go further. It was such a fast attack. It was literally an attack. Because he was overweight, I remember thinking it was like being attacked by a flabby walrus. I remember being pushed up against a wall. He pulled my dress up. I must have said no seven to 10 times, and then I acquiesced. It was very fast. I would say it happened in less than 10 minutes.

 

...When I saw him out after that, I wouldn’t even look him in the eyes. I thought he was garbage. But he still had the compunction to call me. I became very depressed. It eroded my self-esteem. This is the worst message that it sends, that somebody could in a different circumstance like you but think you are worthless. And he can just take it from you. It’s like the murder of the soul.

 

The other important part to this story is race. Russell is a black man. We black women in the community didn’t want him to fail. We wanted him to succeed. As a black woman, we are told we have less value in society already. And then you have someone who is supposed to be a leader, and what he did to me. I was a gem. And he turned me into dirt.

 

I’m a victim, but I didn’t end up living like a victim. The other thing that you do is you have to forgive. I ended up forgiving Russell simply for one reason: time. I would run into him at social events decades later, and I saw a difference in him and the way he acted after he got clean. Russell doesn’t get to be my jailer.

 

I would have kept quiet forever. What made me come forward is his denials of violence toward other women. I don’t want any money from Russell. I’m not suing him. If you look at the women he allegedly assaulted, many of us have a similar look. It’s uncanny. Russell knew that the African-American community was behind him. There are so few black men who make it, we wanted him to succeed. Yet there was also this huge betrayal. He counted on this silence. [26]

Simmons has since denied the accusation while his driver at the time has said on record that he had taken them out about a dozen times and that they had seen each other for nearly 6 months. [27]​ Alexia has claimed she is not reporting the incident in order to attain monetary damages. [28]

 

Personal Life

Alexia was diagnosed with a rare muscular disease that often times leave her paralyzed. [29]

 

She currently lives in the state of Arizona​. [30]​ 

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Created: 07/10/2018 09:20:03 PM UTC
Last Modified: 07/10/2018 11:42:02 PM UTC