One day after former Today Show anchor, Matt Lauer, was fired, another gregarious personality is forced to step down because of sexual assault allegations.
Russell Simmons has reportedly decided to leave all of his companies due to being accused of sexual harassment. The complaint comes from Rachel's Getting Married screenwriter, Jennifer Lumet. This isn't the first time the music mogul has been accused of harassment or assault. Lumet's allegations follow model Keri Claussen Khalighi's claims that Simmons allegedly assaulted her in the early 90's. Khalighi stated that Simmons has recently apologized for this attack.
SIMMONS FIRST ACCUSER
During an interview with Megyn Kelly, Khalighi, now 43, told Kelly that she has had several conversations with Simmons about what happened. "Part of what's so confusing and re-traumatizing is what he's speaking about privately with me is completely different from what's come out publicly," Khalighi said.
Khalighi has also accused Simmons of forcing her to have oral sex with director, Brett Ratner, when she was 17. Both Simmons and Ratner have denied the accusations of non-consensual sex with Khalighi. Following the claims, Brett Ratner has been removed from all of his projects involving Warner Brother Studios.
In addition to his music work, Simmons is the founder of several clothing lines such as, Phat Farm and Tantris. He is also a successful film and television producer.
Since coming forward with his decision to step down, Simmons has apologized to Lumet, who is the granddaughter of the late singer and activist, Lena Horne.
"I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet's recollection about our night together in 1991. 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" Simmons wrote in a statement.
In a letter published by The Hollywood Reporter, Lumet states that Simmons offered her a ride home from a New York City restaurant, but took her to his apartment instead. Lumet revealed that she slept with Simmons out of fear of what he might do.
"While I am totally devastated that she is hurting and pained by her experience the assault didn't happen," Simmons further elaborated.
Simmons was married to model Kimora Lee for eight years, and has two daughters with her: Ming Lee and Aoki Lee. Simmons younger brother, Joseph 'Rev Run' Simmons, is also a highly celebrated music mogul in the hip-hop industry.