/Russell Simmons urges Oprah Winfrey to stop #MeToo documentary about him

Russell Simmons urges Oprah Winfrey to stop #MeToo documentary about him

Russell Simmons is speaking out against Oprah Winfrey and her upcoming AppleTV+ documentary, which reportedly details allegations of sexual misconduct against the music mogul.

Simmons, 62, took to Instagram Friday to once again passionately deny the allegations and address Winfrey, whom he called a “shining light to my family and my community” and someone “contributing so much to my life that I couldn’t list a fraction of it in this blog.”

“This is why it’s so troubling that you choose me to single out in your recent (documentary),” he continued. “I have already admitted to being a playboy more (appropriately titled today ‘womanizer’) sleeping with and putting myself in more compromising situations than almost any man I know.”

“Not 8 or 14 thousand like Warren Beatty or Wilt Chamberlain, but still an embarrassing number,” he added. “So many that some could reinterpret or reimagine a different recollection of the same experiences.”

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Over a dozen women have come forward with allegations against Simmons, with one unidentified woman filing a $10 million lawsuit in March of 2018 accusing him of rape. The lawsuit is pending after Simmons tried and failed to get it dismissed in August.  A California judge ruled that Simmons did not supply sufficient evidence to support his claim that the statute of limitations on the alleged rape had run out.

Last week, Variety reported Winfrey’s Apple Plus documentary will focus on “a former music executive who grapples with whether to go public with her story of assault and abuse by a notable figure in the industry.”

The next day, the Los Angeles Times reported Winfrey’s documentary, which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, features Drew Dixon, who alleges Simmons raped her in 1995. According to Simmons, Winfrey’s producers said the documentary focuses on three “hand-chosen women.”

In 2017 the New York Times reported that Drew Dixon was working her dream job in 1995 as an executive at Def Jam Recordings, which Simmons co-founded. She said the mogul regularly harassed her and exposed his erect penis to her and later that year raped her in his downtown Manhattan apartment. She quit Def Jam soon after but was subsequently harassed by another boss, L.A. Reid.

USA TODAY has reached out to Winfrey’s representatives for comment.

In his post Friday, Simmons continued, saying he has “refused to get in the mud with any accusers, but let’s acknowledge what I have shared. I have taken and passed nine 3-hour lie detector tests (taken for my daughters), that these stories have been passed on by CNN, NBC, BUZZFEED, NY POST, NY MAG, AND OTHERS. Now that you have reviewed the facts and you SHOULD have learned what I know; that these stories are UNUSABLE and that ‘hurt people hurt people’.”

Russell Simmons is speaking out against an upcoming documentary from Oprah Winfrey, which reportedly details sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Simmons capped off his post admitting he’s “guilty of exploiting, supporting, and making the soundtrack for a grossly unequal society,” but that he’s “never been violent or forced” himself on anyone.

“Still I am here to help support a necessary shift in power and consciousness,” he wrote. “Let us get to work on uplifting humanity and put this moment and old narrative behind.”

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On Twitter, Oprah also received criticism from some who questioned why she wasn’t focusing on Harvey Weinstein or Jeffrey Epstein. Rapper 50 Cent took to Instagram to defend Simmons, saying he doesn’t “understand why Oprah is going after black men.”

Such documentaries, he added, “are publicly convicting their targets, it makes them guilty till proven innocent.”

Contributing: Andrea Mandell, Maeve McDermott