Russell Simmons has resigned from his companies after another allegation of sexual misconduct, though the Def Jam founder denied being violent.

“Rachel Getting Married” screenwriter Jenny Lumet — the daughter of filmmaker Sidney Lumet — wrote an essay published by The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday where she remembered a night around 1991 when Simmons took her into his New York apartment and had sex with her, despite her repeated demands that he stop.

“I desperately needed to keep the situation from escalating. I wanted you to believe I wasn’t going to be hard. I wanted to remain as included as I could,” she writes.

Simmons said in a statement released after the essay’s book that Lumet’s memory of this night is “very different” from his, but it is clear to him “that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real.” He apologized for being “thoughtless and insensitive” in a few of his relationships. He said he would resign from his companies because, “I do not need to be a diversion.”

Lumet wrote that she never told anyone about that night before last month following allegations lodged against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein unleashed a torrent of stories about sexual misbehaviour in several fields.

Lumet said she went public following version Keri Claussen Khalighi stated Simmons coerced her to perform a sex act and afterwards penetrated her without her permission in his New York apartment in 1991.

Simmons, 60, denied those allegations, saying everything that happened between himself and Khalighi was completely consensual and with her “full participation.” He suggested that Khalighi’s accusation came from feeling pity.

“I am deeply saddened and genuinely shocked to learn of Keri’s assertions as to what occurred over the course of the weekend,” Simmons said in the announcement. He later wrote that he “never committed any acts of violence or aggression in my life” or would “never intentionally cause fear or harm to anyone.”

Def Jam Recordings was founded in 1984 by Simmons and Rick Rubin, making stars of such hip-hop artists as LL Cool J, Slick Rick, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy. Its roster now includes Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Frank Ocean, Alessia Cara, Jeremih, Jeezy, Iggy Azalea, Big Sean and two Chainz.

Simmons’ empire includes the Argyleculture clothing line, Rush Communications, yoga centers, the energy drink Celsius and the movie and television production company Def Pictures.

Simmons is the latest figure in the entertainment world to have their careers derailed by accusations of misconduct, a list which includes comedian Louis C.K., Pixar and Disney Animation chief John Lasseter, actors Kevin Spacey and Jeffrey Tambor, writer-director James Toback and NBC anchor Matt Lauer.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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