After another allegation of sexual assault was levied against him, hip-hop and media mogul Russell Simmons has announced that he is removing himself from his businesses.
In a guest column for Hollywood Reporter, screenwriter Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married, The Mummy) accused Simmons of forcing her into her apartment despite her repeated requests to be driven to her place, refusing her request of "wait" when moving her into a bedroom, and of penetrating her.
"I felt dread and disorientation. I wanted to go home. I said I wanted to go home. I didn't recognize the man next to me," Lumet wrote, recalling what she says happened after Simmons told their driver to take her to his place instead of dropping her off at her home as she requested. "I didn't know if the situation would turn violent. I remember thinking that I must be crazy; I remember hoping that the Russell I knew would return any moment."
Lumet's column comes a week after Keri Claussen Khalighi accused Simmons of yanking off her clothes and coercing her to perform oral sex when she was a 17-year-old aspiring model, while filmmaker Brett Ratner watched.
Simmons released a statement on Thursday, Nov. 30, saying that while he remembers their night differently, that "it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real." He then announced that he is stepping away from his businesses. According to Amy Kaufman of LA Times, those businesses include All Def Digital, his film company Def Pictures, his yoga business Tantris and philanthropic endeavors.
"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," he wrote, adding that his companies will be taken over by new executives. "...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."
REVOLT TV will report future updates.