Sometimes, you have to do the wrong things for the right reasons.
—Desna Simms
Desna Simms is the owner of Nail Artisan of Manatee County, in Palmetto, and older sister to Dean Simms; she is also romantically invested in Gregory Ruval and the current interest of Roller Husser. She is a major character in the series Claws, portrayed by Niecy Nash.

One year after laundering money for the Dixie Mafia, she attempts to claim the bonus promised for her new salon. Bearing witness to her lover's betrayal and the abuse done to her newest manicurist, Desna tries, fails, and ultimately assists in the murder and cover-up of her lover to move forward and leave the authority of Uncle Daddy. She, however, continues in her illegal dealings upon being informed of her brother's past sexual abuses, prompting her to frame and, unknowingly, execute her former foster parents

The Dixie Mafia absolved by Riva and the Russians, Desna and her crew are forced to adapt to their newfound lives deep in crime. Quickly, with the shift of leadership to Zlata Ostrovsky, she trained in being a leader as well as preparing for a marriage with Gregory. However after Gregory Ruval asked her hand in marriage, she shortly discovered his affairs with Zlata, deciding to secretly plot against both to kill.


This article or section needs to be expanded.

Early LifeEdit


Desna Simms, brought up together with her younger brother Dean, is the daughter of Lola Simms and was often an orphan due to her mother's habits in drug use. During their early upbringing, they were fostered by Keith and Sandy Coombs whom abused and neglected them as children.[1][2]

The two were, eventually, taken in temporarily by Ms. Wallace before they were returned to Lola.[3]

New LifeEdit

Desna and Dean moved into a house in Palmetto, Florida. She opens Nail Artisan of Manatee County in the Plaza and hires her friends--Jennifer, Quiet Ann, and Polly--to work alongside her. Upon setting up the interior, she meets Roller Husser, Jenn's brother in-law. The women of the shop tease that Desna's lack of attraction was due to appearances before returning back to business. Without warning, the police enter and corner Polly in the shop, Desna informing her that she will work a way to get her out of prison.

During this time, she forms a relationship with Roller. They converse a bit about their family and the Dixie Mafia. Desna mentions that she wishes to make money to help her crew. After staying over one night at her place, Roller meets Dean and solves a rat problem; replying to his comment about hiring exterminators, Desna tells him that she hopes to make enough money to move out and into something better suited for her and her brother. Left to think it over, she decides to join the operations with the Dixie Mafia, laundering the money profiting from the Suncoast Rejuvenation clinic.

Over time, she visits the clinic and launders over the money for the Mafia. Desna pays Polly a visit in prison, where she tells her everything that has happened since her imprisonment. She mentions that the doctor that previously worked at the clinic has "retired," is replaced with Dr. Kenneth Brickman. Out of fear that she may someday succumb to the same fate, Desna relays the safe word "ambrosia" in the case that one of them was in danger.[4]

Before New YearsEdit

Desna drives to her nail salon, alongside Jenn and Ann. As the women collectively get their things and leave their cars, they converse about the upcoming New Years party; Desna shows Jenn an outfit she picked out for the occasion. She, then, displays her strut before asking Jenn about hers. The two ask Ann to perform a strut of her own, whom hesitates for a moment.

The women entered the salon and prepared for another day a business until Ann gave a signal. Desna and the group hid and surprised Polly upon her release and return to Nail Artisan. They soon broke apart and returned to their stations upon the arrival of Virginia, whom snarled about her missed invitation.

A packed shop, Desna worked on the nails of Brenique who shares a story about a house party that went sour. When Roller visited the salon, Desna gave Virginia the task of applying a top coat while she walked to the back office to speak with Roller, Ann guarding the door from the outside. As the two began to speak, Roller pulled his pants down and engaged in intercourse with Desna. He requested that she performed another run for Uncle Daddy; she asked about her $20,000 bonus at the end of the day. During the sex, Desna is told to squeeze his neck, which she reluctantly does. A climax later, she stands over him and nudges him to wake.

After he left the salon, Desna turns to Jenn and Polly to make another run to the clinic. Polly made the suggestion of letting her and Virginia make the run, though Desna quickly denounces it. When Virginia begins to question what was being talked about, Desna redirects her to the back office, where the two have a brief discussion over whether her assistance is needed. She, then, leaves with Jenn alongside her to launder the profits for the day. While inside, Ken informed Desna over the Russians in the waiting room that have not moved since entering the building. Though she tells him to call Roller, Ken continued that he did not want to bother him and wanted her to handle it. Instead, she leaves with Jenn with the money, wishing Ken a Happy New Year.[5]

Covering the MurderEdit

Shocked by the situation that transpired, Desna and Virginia pull Roller's body from the pool. They contemplate what to do next, agreeing that it was best to dump him where he could not be found. Desna chooses to use a boat by the dock. The two women wrap his body in a tar and drag it to the boat. Dumping him inside, the two turned on the boat, poured liquid gasoline on its inside, set it ablaze, and undone the ropes that kept it by the dock before hurrying back.

Quickly, Desna fabricated a story for Virginia to memorized. While Virginia collected some of her belongings, Desna attempts to reload a pistol before she is aided. She accidentally fires a shot into the floor, startling one another before aiming and shattering one of the glass windows.[6]


Being forced back into her car, Desna continues to plead with Roller not to kill her and to call Uncle Daddy about the situation.

The two eventually reach an abandoned theme park, where the Russians Boris and Yuri confront Roller, ready to kill him. While distracted, Desna attempts to run away but is once more taken and forced to walk on a boardwalk. She is then forced to her knees, once more pleading not to be murdered. She even goes as far as to confess that she loved him wholeheartedly and that his hesitation is only because he feels the same way. Glancing behind him, she warns him that someone was coming for him, Roller turning his attention to the unknown assailant. Desna, however, runs in the other direction, getting as far away from Roller as she could.[4]

New ManagementEdit

Meeting with the HussersEdit

to be added[7]

Warning CallEdit

Desna visits Clay at his house and expressed orders from Riva that he and his boys need to visit the retirement home and to transport and sell their packages of cocaine.[7]

Sudden ShiftEdit

After learning that Clay did not follow through with the transport, Desna, Ann and Polly entered the retirement home and into the backroom, where the women began packing the cocaine into boxes.[7]


to be added[8]


to be added[9]


Desna is shown to be passionate, caring, and often supportive of her friends and loved ones around her. She sits as a mother figure to her autistic brother Dean and provides him with an environment that best suits his needs. Whenever betrayed or disrespected, however, Desna is powered to go after those that do her or those loved.


  • Lola Simms (Biological Mother)
  • Keith and Sandy Coombs (Adoptive Parents and Abusers)
    The Coombses took in Desna and Dean under their housing. However, the two have treated both as if animals, neglecting and abusing them for years before she and her brother escaped from their care. After learning of Dean's sexual abuses to protect her, she worked into framing them for the death of Roller.
  • Ms. Wallace (Adoptive Mother)
  • Brenda (Adoptive Mother)
  • Matilde Ruval (Mother in-Law and Attempted Killer)
  • Dean Simms (Brother and Savior)
  • Gregory Ruval (Husband and Attacker > Victim)


Appearances for Desna Simms

Memorable QuotesEdit

There's nothing in this world quite as useless as a useless man
—Desna Simms[src]
Baby, baby, squeeze my neck.
—Desna Simms[src]
Malala's got nothing on you, boo.
—Desna Simms to Virginia Loc[src]
Get in line.
—Desna Simms[src]
World domination, one manicure at a time.
—Desna Simms to Gregory Ruval[src]
Claws up, girls. We got a wedding to fake.
—Desna Simms to her girls[src]



  • Desna enjoys eating shrimp.[6]

Behind the ScenesEdit



Claws Characters
Groups Desna's DivasDixie MafiaHaitian MafiaRussian Mafia
Nail Artisan Jennifer HusserVirginia LocPolly MarksDesna SimmsAnnalisa Zayas
Dixie Mafia BaylorBrienneClintBryce HusserClay HusserJuanda HusserRoller HusserTedToby
The Russians BogdanBorisChip LauderdaleOlga OstrovskyZlata OstrovskyRivaYuriYuri II
The Haitians Gregory RuvalMatilde Ruval
Others AriaAudreyBreniqueConfetta BrinksSally BatesBethBethanyArlene BranchKenneth BrickmanCeceChoiCicilyKeith CoombsSandy CoombsLucy ChenEdCarl HargroveHank GluckMandy HeiserJeffJeffKellyKikiApril KimLamontLondonMargeMarilyn BrickmanLillian MarksMarnieMattMontyGladys PiretteRelevanceSarahScarletShellyDean SimmsHenry Zayas
For a complete list of minor characters, see List of Minor Characters.
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