Several sources are reporting that RUSSELL SIMMONS is stepping down from his companies. SIMMONS, the founder of DEF JAM RECORDINGS and current CEO of RUSH COMMUNICATIONS, has announced the move after accusations of harassment and sexual assault became public.
SIMMONS released a statement TODAY (11/30) after screenwriter JENNY LUMET accused him of forcing her to have sex with him in 1991.
"I have been informed with great anguish of JENNY LUMET's recollection about our night together in 1991," SIMMONS said in the statement. "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 continued, "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."