Screenwriter Jenny Lumet has accused Russell Simmons — founder of hip-hop music label Def Jam Recordings and CEO of Rush Communications — of forcing her to have sex with him, back in 1991.
Her account of the incident was detailed in The Hollywood Reporter, which she wrote as a guest column.
In it Jenny Lumet claimed Simmons, after a dinner date, offered her a ride. Due to their previous history, she accepted and that is when things became uncomfortable to her.
She told the driver her address and Simmons told him “no”, twice. Lumet claims the doors were locked the whole time, her unable to get out, and when they arrived to his apartment building she didn’t have the opportunity to escape.
I saw no one else. I recall you were behind me. I was still hoping the Russell I knew would reappear, as I could not recognize the man moving me deeper into the apartment — the man who had said “No” to his driver. Twice.
You moved me into a bedroom. I said “Wait.” You said nothing.
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.
It was dark, but not pitch dark. You closed the door.
At that point, I simply did what I was told.
There was penetration. At one point you were only semi-erect and appeared frustrated. Angry? I remember being afraid that you would deem that my fault and become violent. I did not know if you were angry, but I was afraid that you were.
I desperately wanted to keep the situation from escalating. I wanted you to feel that I was not going to be difficult. I wanted to stay as contained as I could.
Russell Simmons responded to her column in a statement and by stepping down from his companies.
“I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991,” Simmons said in a statement. “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.”
The statement continued: “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.”
Via CNN: On November 19, the Los Angeles Times published a report that detailed allegations of sexual misconduct made against director Brett Ratner and Simmons. A woman quoted in the story said Ratner and Simmons, 60, were “in it together.”
Ratner and Simmons denied the allegations, with Simmons adding that, “abusing women in any way shape or form violates the very core of my being.”
So what do you think? Is Simmons guilty or is Lumet telling a fib for attention? Give us your thoughts in the comment section below.