Russell Simmons Stepping Down From Companies Amid Sexual Assault Allegations

Russell Simmons Stepping Down From Companies Amid Sexual Assault Allegations

Photo credit: Getty

 

by Beautifully Said Team

 

 

Def Jam Recordings founder and CEO of Rush Communications is stepping down from his companies. This after screenwriter Jenny Lumet alleges the hip-hop music pioneer and entrepreneur forced her to have sex with him in 1991. The incident was detailed in a published column by The Hollywood Reporter Thursday

“I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991,” Simmons said in a statement. “I know Jenny and her family and have seen her several times over the years since the evening she described. While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real. While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize.”

Simmons added: “This is a time of great transition. The voices of the voiceless, those who have been hurt or shamed, deserve and need to be heard. As the corridors of power inevitably make way for a new generation, I don’t want to be a distraction so I am removing myself from the businesses that I founded. The companies will now be run by a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives who are moving the culture and consciousness forward. I will convert the studio for yogic science into a not-for-profit center of learning and healing. As for me, I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.”

Lumet quotes in her column, “maybe recalling of this incident can be helpful” to other women who have spoken out against Simmons, but realizes there’s a lot at stake in coming forward with her story.

“There is so much guilt, and so much shame,” Lumet wrote. “There is an excruciating internal reckoning. As a woman of color, I cannot express how wrenching it is to write this about a successful man of color.”

This accusation by Lumet follows that of a recent story published in the Los Angeles Times (November 19), where a woman reported Simmons and director Brett Ratner teamed up together when she, too, experienced sexual assault by Simmons. Saying, Ratner knew what was going but did not help. Both men denied these allegations with Simmons stating, “abusing women in any way shape or form violates the very core of my being.”

Simmons has enjoyed a long-standing and successful career in music, fashion and philanthropy. He married former model Kimora Lee in 1998, but the couple divorced in 2009. They are the parents of two daughters, Aoki Lee and Ming Lee.

Simmons follows a list of other high profile men making headlines for sexual misconduct including Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and Mark Halperin who either lost their jobs or have had to step down from their roles in recent weeks. 

The well-being of Simmons’ daughters should be a primary concern as well as the welfare of the women who have come forward. Social media can be a cruel place. We pray for healing for all that are involved.  

 

 

 

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