Kimora Lee Simmons thanks firefighters for extinguishing blaze at her LA home and says she and her children ‘are all fine’
Kimora Lee Simmons thanked firefighters from the Los Angeles Fire Department on Saturday, saying they “potentially saved the lives” of her and her family after a fire at their home.
The fashion designer, 48, posted a series of images to her Instagram Stories documenting the damage caused by the fire, which showed a group of firefighters tending to char from the home's fireplace.
“The kids and I are doing well,” Simmons told more than 2.3 million followers. “I cannot express my deepest gratitude enough to the numerous battalions, ladders and units who assisted us for hours and possibly saved our lives. THANK YOU!'
It was not immediately clear who was in the building when the fire broke out.
The St. Louis-born celebrity is the mother of five children: daughters Ming, 23, and Aoki, 21, with ex-husband Russell Simmons, 66; son Kenzo, 14, with ex-boyfriend Djimon Hounsou, 59; son Wolfe, eight, with estranged husband Tim Leissner, 52; and son Gary, 13, whom she adopted almost four years ago.
Kimora Lee Simmons, 48, thanked firefighters from the Los Angeles Fire Department on Saturday, saying they “potentially saved the lives” of her and her family after a fire at their home. Pictured in LA last month
The Baby Phat entrepreneur opened up about her parenting philosophy last May Peoplesaying, “As a single mom, I think about my kids all the time and that's it.”
She added, “My kids, their friends, my other kids, you know, I have a lot.”
Simmons said her main motivation in life was to keep her children happy: “I feel like this is the work I do every day to keep that smile on their faces.” And again, that 'smile' means so much.”
Simmons said: 'I'm a single mother of five and I know how hard it can be… it doesn't matter if you're rich and famous, at the end of the day… you're a community person, a caregiver, you're just there and you try everything for to get together.'
The famous family was in the news earlier this year after Aoki, a model and Harvard graduate, and Kimora spoke publicly about their grievances with Russell Simmons in June.
Aoki alleged he verbally abused her earlier this year by sharing text messages and screenshots of her communications with her father, whose career has plummeted after at least 15 women accused him of sexual misconduct during the rise of the MeToo movement in late 2017. He has denied all allegations.
Aoki explained Teen fashion in September about her motivations for making public details of her stormy relationship with her father, saying his erratic behavior had negatively impacted her mental health.
“Some of it was already available,” Aoki said. “There were reasons why I thought it was reasonable to publish, because it was in a kind of silent bubble.”
Simmons shared a message of gratitude to the professionals she credits with saving her life and home
Four firefighters were working to extinguish the blaze, which had damaged the hardwood floor in the home
Simmons was pictured with her five children (L-R) Gary, Kenzo, Wolfe, Ming and Aoki last year – in Carson, California at a charity event
Aoki posted texts and videos of her interactions with her father in June to reflect their fractured relationship.
She said the Def Jam co-founder had been “terrible to her for years,” and that it had caused her significant anxiety issues.
Aoki said Russell – who tried unsuccessfully to salvage his reputation following the sexual misconduct allegations with a publicity campaign – had not been well for “years.”
She wrote: 'He needs help and won't accept it. He refuses to acknowledge that he is not himself.
“He threatened and bullied my sister, my grandmother, harassed my grandmother in the middle of the night when she was in poor health, and sent a man to my sister's apartment at two in the morning to scare her .'
Aoki said Russell “lashes out at ANYONE who doesn't say 'oh Russell, everything's fine,'” adding, 'Well, it's not okay.'
Kimora also posted on social media about her ex-husband's alleged abuse, saying that while it was “so sad that she had to do this,” it was essential to make the situation public.
“This man threatened the lives of my children,” said Kimora, who was married to Russell from 1998 to 2009. 'We will not be bullied, threatened or scared. No one should have to live like this. Nobody's child. This is abuse. Not OK.'
Kimora and Aoki were critical of Russell Simmons in June when they took to social media to complain about his behavior. Pictured in LA last month
Aoki posted texts and videos of her interactions with her father in June that depicted their fractured relationship, including screenshots of a tense FaceTime interaction
Kimora also responded to social media posts with images of her ex-husband's behavior, saying that while she was “so sorry she had to do this,” it was essential to make the situation public.
Aoki told Teen Vogue that a celebrity (whom she did not name) assured her that her actions were appropriate.
She said the celebrity told her, “Oh, I saw your thing. I did the same thing when I was 20, and it worked out just fine.”
Aoki declined to speak to the magazine about the sexual misconduct allegations leveled against her father, as the publication reported that she emphasized “a desire not to step out of place in consideration of all parties involved.”