Hip hop mogul Russell Simmons and his model/fashion designer/reality TV star wife Kimora Lee Simmons separated in the spring of 2006. They just got around to filing for divorce in March of this year. At the time of the initial divorce filing, Kimora sought sole legal and physical custody of the couple’s two daughters, Ming (age 8 ) and Aoki (age 5). She asked that Russell be granted visitation but only if the children were accompanied by their nanny and security personnel. There was no explanation for the restrictive request.
Russell’s official response to the divorce petition indicated that he wanted joint legal and physical custody of the girls. This week, however, the Simmons entered into a permanent agreement as to the custody, visitation and support of their children. And is it ever unusual!
Russell has agreed that Kimora can have sole legal and physical custody of Ming and Aoki. This gives Kimora final decision-making authority over any major child-rearing issue including education, health, activities and religion. The only activity that the former couples must agree upon is any “professional endeavor.” If mom and dad don’t agree, an independent attorney has been appointed to make a binding decision on behalf of the children. Only in Hollywood…
As for visitation, Russell will have the girls with him for one full week, every eighth week. And, he has apparently agreed, the kids will be accompanied at all times by their nanny and security personnel chosen by Kimora. The rest of the parenting plan is rather standard – outlining the division of holidays, allowing for regular phone contact between parents and children and restricting each parent from bad-mouthing the other in front of the kids.
Russell’s child support obligations are equally interesting. He has agreed to pay $40,000 per month in child support ($20,000 for each child). Additionally, he agreed to purchase a car for the benefit of and use by the kids – and the car must cost at least $60,000. And he has to replace it every two years! These provisions are unusual to say the least – and definitely exceed the standard child support award.
The rest of the divorce case is apparently still pending. Each spouse has a financial empire to be evaluated and divided – Russell owns and runs DefJam Records; Kimora runs the BabyPhat fashion company and several other fashion-related ventures. Russell is represented by attorney Lance Spiegel of Kaufman Young Spiegel Robinson & Kenerson. Spiegel is a partner of high profile divorce attorney Robert Kaufman and has previously represented Heather Locklear, Charlie Sheen and Michael Jackson. Kimora’s attorney is Dan Jaffe of Jaffe & Clemens. Jaffe has previously represented such notables as Anne Heche and media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s first wife Anna Murdoch.