In a world full of sexual assault allegations and masculine misconduct, it seems no one is safe. Notable public figures have been losing their jobs, positions and companies once their alleged "dirty laundry" airs but, Russell Simmons, the head of Def Jam, has decided to step down from ALL of his companies. TMZ reports that a woman by the name of Jenny Lumet has accused Simmons of raping her in the 90's.
"Jenny, a filmmaker and daughter of director Sidney Lumet, says the alleged incident happened when Simmons offered her a ride to her Manhattan apartment. But instead, she says Simmons locked the SUV doors and took her to his place, despite her repeatedly asking to be taken home.She claims he first forced himself on her in his elevator, and then once inside his place ... he took her to the bedroom and raped her. Jenny told The Hollywood Reporter, "I made the trade in my mind. I thought, 'just keep him calm and you'll get home.' Maybe another person would have thought differently, or not made the trade.Simmons says he has a different memory of that evening, but acknowledges Jenny's "feelings of fear and intimidation are real." He apologized saying he's "been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades."Model Keri Claussen Khalighi has also accused Simmons of raping her around the same time."
Ms. Lumet wrote an open letter to Simmons saying in part "I didn't recognize you at that moment. It was disorienting. It was disorienting." This speaks volumes to how women feel in unfamiliar situations with familiar men. To read her letter in its entirety, click here.
The first accusers came forward shortly after Simmons told Terry Crews to give his own abuser "a pass". It seems like that was the final straw for the women who have been silent for more than 2 decades. Comedian Sinbad warned that there would possibly be more once the ball started rolling with the first accuser. I guess he was right!