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Russell Simmons Steps Down From Companies Amid Allegations
Christian Eede , December 1st, 2017 14:42

Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam, has stepped down from the company following a new sexual assault allegation made against him

Hip-hop mogul and Def Jam founder Russell Simmons has stepped down from the label, as well as a number of other companies, following a new sexual assault allegation made against him by screenwriter Jenny Lumet.

Lumet's allegation against Simmons was made in a column for Variety. In the column, she says that "circa 1991", after Simmons offered her a ride back to her home, he locked the car doors and had his driver take them to his apartment, where he allegedly coerced her into sex.

Simmons responded to her allegation, saying: "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 apologise."

He continued: "I don't want to be a distraction so I am removing myself from the businesses that I founded. I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening."

It's the second sexual assault allegation to be made against Simmons this month after model Keri Claussen Khalighi recalled an incident which also took place in 1991. Simmons denied the allegation, saying that "everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation".

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