Sexual Assault: Russell Simmons Apologies & Steps Down From Def Jam & All Businesses Amid Allegations
Russell Simmons, the hip-hop mogul has decided to step down from his companies. Earlier this month, a woman came forward with detailed sexual assault allegations at the hands of Simmons and entertainment businessman, Brett Ratner.
The woman, who was 17 at the time, claimed the two men were forceful with her and coerced her to perform unwanted sexual acts. Although both men denied the allegations of sexual misconduct without consent, several others came forward accusing Ratner of additional allegations, naming Simmons as a co-conspirator.
Since then though, Simmons, himself, has been hit with additional allegations of sexual assault. In a guest column in the Hollywood Reporter, writer Jenny Lumet, accused the Def Jam co-founder of forcing her to have sex in ’91.
“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. Again, shame about who I was years ago, choices I made years ago. In this very moment, I feel a pang to protect your daughters. I don’t think you are inclined to protect mine.”
In the column, Lumet detailed the night of the alleged assault, which began with a ride home. She said she got into the car with Simmons and gave the driver her address, but Simmons locked the doors and directed the driver elsewhere.
She said when they arrived at the new destination; Simmons quickly shuffled her into his apartment and closed the door behind him. Lumet recalled Simmons taking her to the bedroom, where she tried to ask him to wait, but he failed to respond. Shortly after, she said she was penetrated, but in an effort to refrain from getting Simmons angry, she said she “was not going to be difficult.”
As the column continued, she said Simmons did not ejaculate inside of her. But, when it was over she grabbed her clothes and let herself out.
In response to Lumet’s column, Simmons revealed that he had a different recollection of the events that occurred on that night in ’91. “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,” he said.
“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.”
He continued, as he announced his departure from his businesses amid the allegations, saying “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.”
Credit Source: Baller Alert/MSNBC