Russell Simmons Stepping Down From Def Jam After Another Sexual Assault Accusation

Russell is removing himself from his companies as he deals with the accusations.

In an effort to separate himself from his businesses, Russell Simmons is stepping down from Def Jam and other companies after a second woman has come forward claiming he raped her in the 90s.

Simmons, the founder of Def Jam Recordings, issued a statement today saying that he would be stepping down as Jenny Lumet accused him of raping her.

He wrote: “I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991,” Simmons said in a 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.”

He went on to say that “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 claims that Simmons was driving her home, but instead locked the doors and took her to his own home, where he assaulted her in his bedroom after intimidating her. She says she did not fight back out of fear that she would face greater danger.

Simmons claims that he has a different recollection of those events, but recognizes that her fear was real and he meant no harm to her. He said that “abusing women in any way shape or form violates the very core of my being.”

Keri Claussen Khalighi also accused the rap mogul of assault, claiming he assaulted her around the same time in 1991. Simmons claims their relationship was consensual.

He will step down from Def Jam, All Def Digital, Def Pictures, and Tantris, as well as his philanthropic endeavors.

In the wake of mounting sexual misconduct allegations against him, Russell Simmons took a polygraph.

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