Join Now

Writer Jenny Lumet: Russell Simmons Sexually Violated Me (Guest Column)

Thursday - 30/11/2017 10:23
The screenwriter of 'Rachel Getting Married' and 'The Mummy' (and the daughter of filmmaker Sidney Lumet) details a terrifying encounter with the legendary music producer, who says he is stepping down from his businesses in the wake of the new claims.
Getty Images / Russell Simmons, Inset: Jenny Lumet
Getty Images / Russell Simmons, Inset: Jenny Lumet

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.

On Nov. 22, 2017, Russell Simmons wrote:

“I have never committed any acts of aggression or violence in my life.  I would never knowingly cause fear or harm to anyone.”

Dear Russell:

I met you around 1987, through Rick Rubin, who has always been kind to me.  Rick knew my sister through N.Y.U. and asked me, at the upstairs bar in a nightclub called the Palladium, to be in a movie you were producing that Rick was directing, starring RUN DMC. It was, frankly, a lousy movie and I was terrible in it.

Over the next three or four years, I would see you out and about, at a nightclub called Nell’s, mostly. I don’t recall you and I ever just going out to dinner, or having a one-to-one experience; we were always in groups, and we had many, many mutual friends.  You were charming and funny and charismatic and self-deprecating. Not being in the music business made it possible for me to relax around you.  And you were a fan of my grandmother, respected her, and told me so.  You seemed sincere.

You pursued me, lightly, on and off, over a course of years, saying you had a thing for a “little yellow girl” (me).  I rebuffed.  It wasn’t deep, as far as I knew. It was never a big deal.  You had, I assumed, many women in your orbit.

Once you sent me 250 balloons with the note “Please baby, please baby, baby, baby, baby” after a character in a Spike Lee movie.  It was light, fun, and flattering.  We continued to socialize in the same places.  We continued to have a large group of mutual friends.

One night circa 1991, when I was around 24, I was at a restaurant called Indochine. I had worked there when I was 17, as the coat check girl, and I enjoyed returning. I still knew some of the staff at this point, and felt quite comfortable there.  I remember I was wearing one of the Azzedine Alaia tops that were everywhere that year. And hoop earrings. I think it was cool enough for a jacket.  Because I remember being glad I had a jacket by the end of that night.

You had a car and a driver that evening. Sometime later, you offered me a ride to my home.  I said, sure. During the making of the RUN DMC movie, I had been in vans with you and other crew members.  I don’t recall having accepted a ride home alone with you before that night.

At no time that night did I say: “Russell, I will go home with you”.  Or, “Come home with me.” Or “I will have sex with you.”  Or “I have the desire to have sex with you.”

I believe it was an SUV, because I recall having to step up into the car. I don’t know about makes or models. I think the driver was already in the car.

I got into the car with you. The driver began to drive.  I assumed you knew where I lived, because you had sent me 250 balloons, but I gave the driver my address on 19th Street and 2nd Avenue.  

You said to the driver: “No.”

I didn’t understand, so I said: “Russell?”  

I said, again, to the driver: “19th Street.”

Again you said to the driver:  “No. ”

Then, the car doors locked. It was loud. The noise made me jump.

Read More (...)

Source: The Hollywood Reporter:

Total notes of this article: 0 in 0 rating

Click on stars to rate this article

  Reader Comments

Newer articles

Older articles

Disclaimer

External links are provided for reference purposes. VidoStream News is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites. Copyright © 2016 VidoStream News. 

Archives

T2
T3
T4
T5
T6
T7
CN
Top
You did not use the site, Click here to remain logged. Timeout: 60 second