Russell Simmons Stepping Away From Companies In Wake Of Sexual Harassment Allegations
Russell Simmons just made a shocking move in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him. As previously reported Simmons was accused by model Keri Claussen Khaligi of “yanking off her clothes” while Brett Ratner watched before allegedly sexually assaulting her in a shower. Another woman, Tanya Reid, alleged that Ratner and Simmons harassed her while she worked at a South Beach hotel.
Now Jenny Lumet, the daughter of director Sidney Lumet and the granddaughter of Lena Horne, has come forward and she’s making shocking allegations.
Lumet alleges that Simmons sexually violated her in 1991 when she was 24-years-old after he agreed to have his driver take her home. Lumet says Russell made his driver take them back to his apartment where he violated her despite her constantly telling him to “wait.”
In a Hollywood Reporter guest column Lumet writes,
“At no time that night did I say: “Russell, I will go home with you”. Or, “Come home with me.” Or “I will have sex with you.” Or “I have the desire to have sex with you.”
I saw no one else. I recall you were behind me. I was still hoping the Russell I knew would reappear, as I could not recognize the man moving me deeper into the apartment — the man who had said “No” to his driver. Twice.
You moved me into a bedroom. I said “Wait.” You said nothing.
I made the trade in my mind. I thought “just keep him calm and you’ll get home.” Maybe another person would have thought differently, or not made the trade.
It was dark, but not pitch dark. You closed the door.
At that point, I simply did what I was told.”
Lumet goes into great detailing noting that she was worried a “semi-erect” Simmons would be angry with her and become violent and added that he didn’t ejaculate inside her.
VERY soon after the article was published, Simmons announced that he’s stepping down from all of his companies and handing them over to a “new and diverse generation” while he works on his personal growth.
“I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991. 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.
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.”
Wow, wow, wow. The purge continues.
What do YOU think about Simmons stepping away from his companies for his “personal growth” and “spiritual learning”?