Model and designer Kimora Lee Simmons, also known as Leissner, defended her name and her business saying it has nothing to do with Tim Leissner, former Goldman Sachs employee condemned in Singapore on 1MDB fraud charges.
Reacting to reports that her business could have been partially funded by Leissner with 1MDB money and that a US Department of Justice is bound to probe her on the matter, she said: “So all my money, not that I want to say it that way, this is my third marriage that I’m on so, no, my husband has nothing to do with my professional life.”
I’m an entrepreneur, a businesswoman, I have investments. I’m working and trying very hard every day so I think it is bad, yes, for an old whoever guy to try to discredit all of that. – Kimora Lee
She told WWD.COM a New York Post article on Leissner and 1MDB money funding her business was a disservice to the fashion business.
“I think it does a disservice to the fashion business and to designers like me. I’m one of the few designers who is here with their namesake label.
“I’m one of the few women and certainly one of the few women of color. Diversity is a big conversation for me that I talk about.”
“I’ve been around for quite some time. I’m an old lady so I’ve always been self-sustaining, self-funded. I’ve had Baby Phat and at one point Phat Farm, too.”
She said the accusations were probably racially motivated.
“I think it does a disservice to fashion or women of color, yeah absolutely. I’m not saying that it was necessarily racially motivated but one could look at it that way, absolutely.”
Page Six’s Richard Johnson claimed that it is widely believed that her husband Tim Leissner financed the brand’s launch.
The former senior banker in Asia officially exited Goldman Sachs earlier last year. A Goldman Sachs spokesman said Thursday night, “Leissner left Goldman shortly after we discovered an unauthorized recommendation letter he wrote.”