Russell Simmons is no doubt one of the biggest influencers in the music industry, so it’s no surprise that the Hip-Hop mogul has landed the cover the of the November 2012 issue of Forbes Magazine.
Inside, Uncle Rush, who is worth an estimated $75 million, shares some big news about the next chapter of his life, as well as some of the new projects he’s been working on lately.
From making a move from the Big Apple to Los Angeles, to the new lady in his life, Simmons dishes the latest info to Forbes.
Read the excerpts from the interview below:
On his upcoming plans:
In January, he’ll debut Tantris, a yoga line for women and men. “It’s going to be high-end and sexy,” he says. “Something way more sexy than what Lululemon is doing.” He’ll also publish a book, Mass Mantra, which is a do-it-yourself guide to meditation.
On moving to L.A.:
“It’s new inspiration, new shit,” he says, explaining the move to L.A. “I’m gonna make a bunch of movies and TV. I’m gonna take my kids to school. It’s a new life.” He’s contemplating producing two small-budget films and has a new deal with a YouTube channel that will function as an incubator for talent and ideas that could be spun into TV and film.
On his new girlfriend:
He has a new steady – they’ve been on ten dates–named Leila Lopes, a 26-year-old Angolan who happens to be the reigning Miss Universe. Simmons stops short of calling her his girlfriend, though. He’s frequently photographed with comely young women. Lopes is charming and poised, “good company,” Simmons says. But when his friends started telling him “this is your Michelle Obama,” it freaked him out.
The Forbes writer — who spent 14 hours with the successful entrepreneur — also recalled when Russell, a committed vegetarian, accidentally ate a piece of calamari:
Here at the Rose Bar he sits flanked by two Czech supermodels, smiling that familiar winning smile that engulfs his entire face, totally in his element. He reaches over to the plate of Veronica Varekova, the blonde Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret model, picks up what he thinks is an onion ring, and pops it into his mouth.
“Ugh!” he says, stopping mid-chew. “What is that?” On the other side of him, Petra Nemcova, the 5-foot-10 stunner, puts her hand on his knee. “It’s calamari, Russell,” she says in a soothing voice.
“You know I don’t eat that shit,” says Simmons, an outspoken vegan. But he smiles as he says it, apparently unconcerned with the dietary infraction.
Simmons also gave a tour of his home and posed for a few photos. Check ’em out below: