Russell Simmons had been accused by two women of sexual misconduct earlier this month, but it was Jenny Lumet’s Hollywood Reporter editorial that forced the storied music producer out of his companies—which include record label Def Jam Records and clothing companies Phat Farm and Tantris.
Lumet, a screenwriter whose credits include Rachel Getting Married and The Mummy, details a harrowing experience in which Simmons drove her to his apartment and forced himself on her. She writes in THR:
In a statement to the publication, Simmons denied the allegation that the incident was non-consensual. He wrote:
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In the same statement, the producer said he would be “stepping down from the businesses that I founded” and that the companies would now be “run by a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives who are moving the culture and consciousness forward.”
Simmons himself says he “will commit to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.”
Earlier this month, Keri Claussen Khalighi and Tanya Reid accused Simmons of pressuring them to perform non-consensual sexual acts in incidents that involved director Brett Ratner. Both Simmons and Ratner have denied the allegations.