Russell Simmons recently denied sexual assault allegations by model Keri Claussen Khalighi, however a new detailed account by screenwriter Jenny Lumet published in the Hollywood Reporter has the legend in hip hop stepping down from all of his companies including Def Jam Recordings.
Lumet claims that in 1991 Simmons offered to have his driver bring her home after a night out socializing in a group. She says when the two were in the car, Simmons demanded that his driver lock the doors and bring the writer to his home instead. She says she went against her will and was sexually assaulted at his home.
This is Simmons full response to these new allegations:
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 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.