Not even a week after the first allegation surfaced, Russell Simmons is back under fire with two more sexual assault claims. Recently, two other victims (Tanya Reid and Jenny Lumet) came forward and stated Simmons sexually assaulted them. The new assault claim made (Lumet) seems to be right around the same time model Keri Khalighi accused him of assaulting her while film director, Bret Ratner watched.
Writer, Jenny Lumet wrote in a guest column of The Hollywood Reporter, that Simmons sexually assaulted her in his apartment in 1991. “There is so much guilt, and so much shame,” Lumet wrote in her column. “There is an excruciating internal reckoning. As a woman of color, I cannot express how wrenching it is to write this about a successful man of color. Again, shame about who I was years ago, choices made years ago. In this very moment, I feel a pang to protect your daughters. I don’t think you are inclined to protect mine.”
Like in the previous claim, Simmons states he has a different recollection of the occurrence Lumet is claiming took place. The Def Jam co-founder apologized to Lumet, by saying, “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.”
Due to the recent allegation, Simmons is now stepping down from his companies. In addition to his position at Def Jam, he is also a successful television producer and founder of fashion line, Phat Farm. When asked why he stepped down, Simmons stated, “I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.” He went on to say he did not want to be a distraction from the work of his companies.
The Def Jam co-founder’s name has also been removed from HBO’s Dec 1 premiere of All Def Comedy in lieu of recent events.