Oprah Says Russell Simmons 'Attempted to Pressure' Her Into Leaving Film About His Accusers

Illustration for article titled Oprah Says Russell Simmons Attempted to Pressure Her Into Leaving Film About His Accusers
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Last week, Oprah Winfrey pulled out of producing a documentary on a group of women who have accused Russell Simmons of sexual misconduct, saying, at the time, that she believed the Apple project was being rushed in order to make it to Sundance. But according to The New York Times, the exit came after repeated pressure from Simmons to end her association with the project. Winfrey confirmed this series events, telling the Times, “[Simmons] did reach out multiple times and attempted to pressure me.”


Simmons alleges that a woman associated with the documentary, Drew Dixon, is lying about her relationship with Simmons, a theory he shared with Oprah. While Oprah says she believes Dixon’s story, she also found “inconsistencies” in Dixon’s account that she believes the documentary did not fully address. “I am only going to do what I believe to be the right thing,” Oprah told the Times.

While the right thing remains subjective, the documentary will no longer be distributed by Apple TV+ and its future at Sundance is in question.


Read the full report on The New York Times.

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Thanks for reporting on this.

I am a survivor of color and am beyond disappointed when powerful women of color protect “their men” when those men rape or abuse-especially when that protection is at the expense of other women of color. I have been on the bad end of this kind of deal-and the result is usually getting ostracized from the community.

We survivors come forward, women circle and protect their men (often for economic reasons in a patriarchal society), and the women decide the survivors are a threat to the rest of the group. The survivors are shunned.

When you are of color and ostracized by your own often small community, it is almost as bad as death. It doesn’t surprise me that some of Simmon’s victims attempted suicide.