Russell Simmons, co-founder of record label Def-Jam, has become the latest executive to step down from all his companies after allegations of harassment and sexual assault surfaced.
Screenwriter Jenny Lumet has come forward, accusing Simmons of forcing her to have sex with him in 1991.
The screenwriter detailed the incident in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter.
“There is an excruciating internal reckoning. As a woman of colour, I cannot express how wrenching it is to write this about a successful man of colour.”
Simmons responded to the allegations in a statement, where he also announced that he would be stepping down as leader of all his companies.
“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,” Simmons said in the statement.
HBO released a statement confirming that Simmons would be dropped from the upcoming stand-up series, All Def Comedy.