Russell Simmons is stepping down from his companies and has issued an apology to a writer by the name of Jenny Lumet who claims the Def Jam co-founder forced her to have sex in 1991.
Simmons is apologizing to Lument, although he said he had a different recollection of their encounter, but said 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. “The companies will now be run by a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives who are moving the culture and consciousness forward. As for me, I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning, and, above all, to listening.”
“There is so much guilt, and so much shame,” Lumet wrote in a guest column in the Hollywood Reporter on Thursday. “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 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.”
A woman by the name of Keri Claussen Khalighi also accused Simmons of sexual assault when she was 17-years-old.
Continue speaking your truth, ladies and gentlemen!