Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee Simmons are no longer a couple, but the two have remained friendly because they have two daughters together – Ming Lee, 9, and Aoki, 6. And Russell always has kind words for the mother of his girls.
What are his tips for an amicable split?
“You smile no matter what happens, and you keep smiling. During a marriage, they say you make a tremendous compromise. Men say all the time they just be quiet. You’ve gotta be quiet 24 hours. It’s OK if you’re separate and can be quiet, but it’s a mess if you talk. You just learn to be a little bit accepting and promote tolerance and act and be tolerant yourself. Allow each other a little freedom, and faith.”
Russell is proud of how Kimora is raising the girls:
“The thing that makes me most inspired is when there was some celebrity who was in the Hamptons and I just missed her. And they asked me, ‘did I want to see her?’ and I said ‘I’ll catch her later.’ They said ‘well, your daughter would like to see her.’ And she’s just one of those celebrities who runs around. They said, ‘well your daughter would love to see her.’ I said, ‘would you like to see — the name of this celebrity?’”What celebrity?’”Doesn’t matter. And she said, ‘no, no, I think she makes bad choices.’ That’s what Ming Lee told me. That to me reminded me that their mother has been doing such a good job with them because she knows what’s a good choice already.”
What does Russell love most about being a dad?
“The innocence is inspiring. The way young people think, you want to think like them so they teach you a lot. Having a child teaches you so much. That really is the best part of being a dad. You remember what’s important in life.”