Any man with millions of dollars giving advice from a downward-facing dog position is not to be trusted. Russell Simmons is an opportunist. Once the music industry took a dive he turned to monthly fees as a main focus. So he’s no stranger when it comes to taking without asking. Not too long ago he was exploiting low-income individuals with his RushCards. Glorified loan sharking in an attempt to shake down the same people you’re most familiar with. But he had practice taking advantage of women before he set his sights on taking advantage of those with terrible credit. Jenny Lumet is the second woman coming forward listed on Russ’ lustfully touched without consent list.
Russell Simmons, a prolific music and TV producer and co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, was accused of sexual assault and harassment by model Keri Claussen Khalighi in a Nov. 19 article in the Los Angeles Times. Simmons then denied the incident in a letter published Nov. 22 by The Hollywood Reporter. The letter prompted Jenny Lumet — an award-winning screenwriter (Rachel Getting Married, The Mummy), the daughter of filmmaker Sidney Lumet, and granddaughter of singer/activist Lena Horne — to pen a response detailing her own experience with Simmons.
I saw no one else. I recall you were behind me. I was still hoping the Russell I knew would reappear, as I could not recognize the man moving me deeper into the apartment — the man who had said “No” to his driver. Twice.
You moved me into a bedroom. I said, “Wait.” You said nothing.
I made the trade in my mind. I thought, “Just keep him calm, and you’ll get home.” Maybe another person would have thought differently, or not made the trade.
It was dark but not pitch-dark. You closed the door.
At that point, I simply did what I was told.
There was penetration. At one point you were only semi-erect and appeared frustrated. Angry? I remember being afraid that you would deem that my fault and become violent. I did not know if you were angry, but I was afraid that you were.
I desperately wanted to keep the situation from escalating. I wanted you to feel that I was not going to be difficult. I wanted to stay as contained as I could.
You told me to turn over on my stomach. You said something about a part of my body. You did not ejaculate inside me.
When it was over, I got my clothes and quickly went down in the elevator by myself. You didn’t try to stop me. I went home in a taxi. I was grateful to be secure in my home. I never told anyone this story until October 27 of this year (after the Harvey Weinstein story was in the news but weeks before the first public claims were made against you), when I told a girlfriend from childhood.
Depending on the celebrity and circumstances it’s possible to get away with one accusation of sexual assault if it was a long time ago. But now that women are visiting the Wizard of Oz and asking for courage like the lion more bravely pointed fingers are aimed at Russ. And attempting to defend yourself against an audience of assault victims is tough. Deciding to gracefully bow out of businesses you started to save face is the smart move for a sexual predator. They’ll never see you coming from the sideline.
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