Russell Simmons has reportedly abandoned the #NotMe crusade he attempted to launch in the face of multiple sexual assault allegations.
According to Page Six, the mogul’s reps said he has instead decided “that this is a time for women to speak.”
In November and December, the Def Jam co-founder was accused of various forms of sexual misconduct — including rape and attempted rape — by some 13 women.
Although he stepped down from his businesses, Simmons said on Instagram that he was committed to proving his innocence. On Dec. 14, he wrote, “Today, I begin to properly defend myself. I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges. Today, I will focus on ‘The Original Sin’ [referring to model Keri Claussen Khalighi, who accused him in the LA Times of rape], the claim that created this insane pile on of my #MeToo.” Simmons said that he would then address the claims by Jenny Lumet, the screenwriter who claimed that he sexually violated her.
The same day, TMZ showed video of Simmons taking a lie-detector test regarding Khalighi’s accusation, which, his lawyers claimed, he “passed with flying colors” and that Simmons planned to submit to four more tests.
Page Six noticed that Simmons has posted on Instagram just three times since coming up with the hashtag, each time with an “inspirational” quote. He hasn’t used the hashtag since, and there have been no further attempts to prove his innocence in the press.
Asked about the silence, his reps told us that Simmons felt that it was “a time for women to speak,” adding, “Mr. Simmons’ previous statements stand, and he has nothing to add to [them] at this time.”
It was his #NotMe idea that prompted publicist and TV star Kelly Cutrone to tell Page Six last month that Simmons had tried to rape her in 1991. “The #NotMe thing? I’m going to do a #YeahYou. F*** you,” she told the column.
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