Separation? What separation?
Yesterday three days after formally announcing his split from Kimora Lee Simmons, his wife of seven years hip-hop and fashion mogul Russell Simmons told me there's still "a possibility" they can save their marriage.
"This morning we woke up, the four of us, in the same bed which is pretty normal for us," Simmons told me, referring to Kimora and their daughters Ming Lee, 6, and Aoki, 3. He said the family started the day at their Saddle River, N.J., mansion one of several Simmons residences, including an East Hampton estate, a Tribeca loft and houses in L.A. "On the day we made our announcement, I picked up my children from school and took them to see 'Ice Age 2: The Meltdown' with Kimora."
But at the same time, the 48-year-old Simmons acknowledged that he's been spending quality time with 23-year-old Dominican beauty and rap video starlet Denise Vasi, and insisted that he'd approve if Kimora, the 30-year-old "Fabulosity" author, found another guy.
"There would be just two requirements," Simmons told me. "One, he'd better be sweet to Kimora. Two, he'd better love my children."
Simmons complained about press accounts of their split "that made it look like we were unfaithful to each other. That's not true. We know each other very well." Simmons who defines "unfaithful" as "dishonest" indicated he'd told Kimora about his relationship with Vasi. "Yes, I'd been out with this girl. She's very sweet," he said.
During a phone interview that was interrupted twice by an aide saying that Kimora was trying to reach him, Simmons added: "I work with her 14 hours a day. The question is, do we want to be together 24 hours a day?
"We're making a space and taking some time, but we're best friends," said Simmons. "We're still going to have our media interests and our fashion interests. I am producing her reality show, and we're raising our children together. From what the public sees, there's absolutely no change."
Saturday, Russell and Kimora will be at Mar-a-Lago, where Donald and Melania Trump will co-host a Palm Beach fund-raiser for the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.
"We've been together for 14 years. She was 16 when we met," Simmons said. "Now I guess we're different. We have different tastes. We have different aspirations in life."
Simmons said their separation drama will be featured on VH1's "The Kimora Lee Simmons Show," and laughed: "I'm sure the producers want to get it on the show sooner rather than later."
Simmons insisted that neither he nor Kimora has plans to hire lawyers to divide an estate potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars, including companies involving fashion, jewelry, finance and television production. He said that Kimora wasn't available for comment.
"We're partners in everything. There's no money discussion with us. We're not going to have any fights over money. We're just not," he told me. "I'll bet you my bottom dollar and my top dollar."