Russell Simmons is stepping down from all the businesses he founded, and dismantling his studio for yogic science after the mogul has been accused of sexually assaulting a female screenwriter.
Jenny Lumet wrote a guest column for the Hollywood Reporter in which she accuses Simmons of forcing her to have sex in 1991 when she was 24-years-old. Lumet is known for movies like “Rachel Getting Married” and “The Mummy.”
Simmons says his recollection of the night differs from Lumet’s; “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 apologize.”
The Def Jam founder says he needs to focus on his own personal growth, and “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.
As for his famed yoga center, Simmons says “I will convert the studio for yogic science into a not-for-profit center of learning and healing.”