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Music mogul Russell Simmons has announced that he will “step aside” from his companies in the wake of a new sexual assault allegation from screenwriter Jenny Lumet.

In a harrowing open letter published by El Hollywood Reporter, Lumet recalls a night around 1991 when Simmons allegedly offered her a ride home from a restaurant, but refused to take her back to her apartment, instead taking her to his residence in a locked car.

Lumet alleges coercive behavior from Simmons and his driver to get her into his building, and the fear she felt once Simmons had her alone:

You didn’t punch me, drag me or verbally threaten me. You used your size to maneuver me, quickly, into the elevator. I said “Wait. Wait.” I felt dread. I was very, very sad. I didn’t know if the driver was a further threat, or an ally. I was both relieved and terrified when he did not get into the elevator. Alone in the elevator, you pressed me into the corner with your body, your hands and your mouth.

The elevator did not stop on the way up to your apartment. I was moved very quickly inside. I recall hearing the apartment door closing behind us.

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.

In response, Simmons released a statement to THR apologizing to Lumet for his behavior and announcing that he plans to “step aside” from his businesses, which include Def Jam Enterprises, Def Pictures, Def Comedy Jam, Celsius, Tantris and RushCard, along with several charitable foundations:

“I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991. I know Jenny and her family and have seen her several times over the years since the evening she described. 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.

This is a time of great transition. The voices of the voiceless, those who have been hurt or shamed, deserve and need to be heard. As the corridors of power inevitably make way for a new generation, I don’t want to be a distraction so I am removing myself from the businesses that I founded. The companies will now be run by a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives who are moving the culture and consciousness forward. I will convert the studio for yogic science into a not-for-profit center of learning and healing. As for me, I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.”

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported that Simmons and his friend Brett Ratner have been accused of sexual misconduct by at least two women — Keri Claussen Khalighi, a model who was 17 at the time of the alleged assault by Simmons, and an unnamed 29-year-old who alleged that she had been held against her will by “two males who both unlawfully touched her.” Variedad reported that Simmons and Ratner were investigated by the Beverly Hills Police Department in 2001 over the latter incident, but prosecutors declined to press charges. Simmons denied those claims.

Actor Terry Crews also revealed an email Simmons sent to him regarding a WME agent who allegedly groped Crews, apparently telling Crews to give his abuser “a pass.”

Leer Lumet’s letter to Simmons and his response here.

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