Russell Simmons Releases Statement On Sexual Assault Accusations And Steps Down From Companies

One of his accusers speaks out.

Russell Simmons recently announced that he is choosing to step down from his slew of companies in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations recently made against him.

Most recently, award-winning screenwriter Jenny Lumet became the latest to come forward accusing the media mogul of assault.

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Lumet, the granddaughter of iconic singer/activist Lena Horne, revealed her alleged experience in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter. In it, she related an instance where Simmons allegedly locked her in a car, forced her into his apartment and pressured her, against her will, to engage in sexual activity with him.

Shortly after her account was published, Simmons responded by announcing in a statement that he will be "removing myself from the businesses that I founded." He credited his reasoning to committing himself "to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening."

"I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet's recollection about our night together in 1991," his statement reads. "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 apologize."

In her column, Lumet explained that she was inspired to come forward with her account after reading the mogul's initial response to another woman, model Keri Claussen Khalighi, who accused both him and filmmaker Brett Ratner of sexual assault. Simmons has denied those claims in a letter.

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