Russell Simmons Stepping Down from His Companies After New Sexual Assault Allegation
Russell SimmonsLeaving Media EmpireAfter New Sexual Assault Allegation
11/30/2017 7:26 AM PT
Russell Simmons is stepping down from his multimedia empire as a new woman, Jenny Lumet, comes forward claiming he raped her in the early '90s.
Jenny, a filmmaker and daughter of director Sidney Lumet, says the alleged incident happened when Simmons offered her a ride to her Manhattan apartment. But instead, she says the Def Jam founder locked the SUV doors and took her to his place, despite her repeatedly asking to be taken home.
She claims he first forced himself on her in his elevator, and then once inside his place ... he took her to the bedroom and raped her. Jenny told The Hollywood Reporter, "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."
Simmons says he has a different memory of that evening, but acknowledges Jenny's "feelings of fear and intimidation are real." He apologized saying he's "been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades." He says he's stepping down from his companies, which include Rush Communications, several clothing lines and part ownership of his baby, Def Jam.
Model Keri Claussen Khalighi has also accused Simmons of raping her around the same time.