Russell Simmons steps down from his leadership position of his Empire following a new sexual assault allegation from “Rachel Getting Married” screenwriter Jenny Lumet. Lumet has accused Simmons of assaulting her in 1991 when she was 24 years old. Simmons was driving Lumet home from the New York City restaurant Indochine and allegedly brought her back to his apartment where the assault occurred.
“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” said Russell
He also went further to say this in his new statement on the issue after The Hollywood Reporter published Lumet’s article, “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”.
Lumet suggested that reading Simmons’ response was part of the reason she felt compelled her to relate her own account of his alleged assault. “I don’t recall ever meeting any of the women who have spoken out against you, Russell,” she writes. “But I can’t leave those women twisting in the wind.”