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Russell Simmons Steps Down From Companies After Sexual Assault Allegations

Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons has announced that he is stepping away from his empire following sexual assault allegations.

In a guest column in the Hollywood Reporter, writer Jenny Lumet accused Simmons of forcing her to have sex with him in 1991.

Simmons has also been accused of other sexual assault allegations along with his longtime friend Brett Ratner. In his statement, Simmons apologized to Lumet and said that her “feelings of fear and intimidation are real.”

Read his statement below:

“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 and humbly 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.

Russell Simmons.”

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