On Nov. 30, famed screenwriter Jenny Lumet published an extensive guest column for The Hollywood Reporter where she revisited a time when Russell Simmons reportedly sexually violated her. Following the passage’s publishing, the Rush Communications CEO announced that he plans to remove himself from the companies he founded.
In a statement shared shortly after Lumet’s revelation, the 60-year-old apologized for his behavior while stating “her memory of that evening is very different from mine,” but “it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real.”
The All Def Digital co-founder then highlighted his reason for stepping away from his companies, adding that he didn’t want to be viewed as a “distraction.” A “new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives who are moving the culture and consciousness forward” will take command of his businesses.
NEW: Russell Simmons stepping aside from his companies following sexual misconduct allegation: “I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.” pic.twitter.com/SXu7Jo5onP
— ABC News (@ABC) November 30, 2017
Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times featured another woman’s recollection of experiencing Simmons’ reported sexual misconduct. Model Keri Claussen Khalighi was 17 at the time of the incident, which also allegedly involved another Hollywood figure who’s been accused of sexual misconduct, director Bret Ratner.
According to the news site, Simmons and Ratner took Khalighi to dinner followed by a trip to Simmons’ apartment in 1991. The premise was to show Khalighi a music video that was in its early stages of production. That’s when Khalighi began to notice Simmons’ sexual behavior became assertive as he allegedly forcefully took off her clothes.
“I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face,” Khalighi said. “In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.”