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Russell Simmons Steps Down After Sexual-Assault Allegation

Music mogul Russell Simmons said he is stepping down from his entertainment companies after screenwriter Jenny Lumet accused him of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s. In a letter published early Thursday in The Hollywood Reporter, Lumet described a 1991 incident in which Simmons refused to take her home, against her protests, and ordered his driver to take her to his apartment, where he allegedly assaulted her. Lumet was 17 years old at the time. “I felt dread and disorientation. I wanted to go home. I said I wanted to go home,” she wrote. “I didn’t recognize the man next to me. I didn’t know if the situation would turn violent. I remember thinking that I must be crazy; I remember hoping that the Russell I knew would return any moment.” Simmons later responded to THR: “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.”

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