Russell Simmons Steps Down From Companies Following Sexual Assault Allegations

The wave of sexual allegations that have hit the United States in recent months is continuing with it coming to light that some of the biggest names in Hollywood have behaved in an inappropriate way. It is not just celebrities who have been hit by these claims as there are also some major figureheads in the business world who have been named and shamed.

One of the recent names revealed is Russell Simmons; an entrepreneur, producer, and author. He is the chair and CEO of Rush Communications, but this is not his only business venture. Simmons is also the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, the hip-hop music label. His other business ventures include Tantris, Argyleculture, and Phat Farm. As a result of his involvement in so many business projects, he has amassed an estimated net worth of $340 million.

Unfortunately, he has now been forced into a position where he has had to step down from his various companies following a series of allegations against him, all of which have been made in November 2017.

The first to come forward was Keri Claussen Khalighi. She made an accusation that she was sexually assaulted by Simmons in 1991 when she was 17 and he was 33. She also accused Brett Ratner of watching the incident take place and not intervening when she asked him for help. Although Simmons and Ratner do not deny that the incident took place, they both deny that the encounter was non-consensual. Tanya Reid then came forward claiming that Simmons had tried to pressure her into performing oral sex on Ratner. This is an incident that both Simmons and Ratner have denied ever took place.

Following this allegation, a further allegation relating to inappropriate behavior was made against Simmons. Terry Crews, the actor and former football player, had accused film executive Adam Venit of sexual assault. Crews then accused Simmons of trying to influence him into taking back the allegations he had made. Crews even posted on Twitter with a screenshot of the email he alleges was sent to him by Simmons trying to persuade him to retract his claims.

The situation then became worse for Simmons when he was accused of a historical rape dating back to 1991. The woman who has accused him of this crime is writer Jenny Lumet who is best-known for writing the screenplay for ‘Rachel Getting Married. She is also the daughter of director Sidney Lumet. Her maternal grandmother is singer Lena Horne and her paternal grandfather is actor Baruch Lumet.

Following the accusations made by Lumet, Simmons made the decision to stand down from the positions he holds in each of his companies. This was not the only consequence of the allegations as HBO have also announced that they are removing Simmons’ name and his likeness from all his stand-up comedy specials. This started with the episode aired on December 1, 2017.

Simmons has said that his companies will now be run by extraordinary executives who are from a new and diverse generation. He says he now wants to focus on personal growth, listening, and spiritual learning.

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