Russell Simmons tried to power Oprah Winfrey out of engaged on the documentary about his sexual assault allegations however it wasn’t his efforts that brought on her to ditch the venture, the tv icon has revealed.
Winfrey introduced final week she was stepping away from the “On the Record” project as its govt producer, almost one month after receiving backlash from Simmons. She additionally shared that it’s going to not air on Apple TV+.
Now, in a brand new assertion to Fox Information, Winfrey revealed what precisely was occurring behind the scenes and detailed Simmons’ makes an attempt to cease her involvement.
“He did attain out a number of instances and tried to strain me,” Winfrey advised Fox Information by a spokesperson on Saturday.
The spokesperson added that Winfrey’s resolution to separate herself from the documentary was not as a result of Simmons’ incessant makes an attempt. As a substitute, Winfrey discovered inconsistencies within the reporting for the “On the Report” documentary, particularly with the story coming from one of many music producer’s accusers, Drew Dixon.
Regardless of her exit, Winfrey’s spokesperson confirmed the media mogul believes Dixon in addition to the opposite girls who come ahead within the movie.
“Initially, she believes the entire girls,” the spokesperson advised Fox Information.
The spokesperson added that Winfrey felt the movie didn’t must be rushed to the Sundance Movie Competition, scheduled to premiere on Jan. 25.
Winfrey introduced her resolution to step down because the documentary’s govt producer in an announcement to Fox Information final week.
“I’ve determined that I’ll not be govt producer on the untitled Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering documentary and it’ll not air on Apple TV+,” Winfrey shared in an announcement. “Initially, I would like it to be recognized that I unequivocally consider and assist the ladies. Their tales should be advised and heard. In my view, there’s extra work to be performed on the movie to light up the total scope of what the victims endured, and it has grow to be clear that the filmmakers and I are usually not aligned in that inventive imaginative and prescient.
“Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering are proficient filmmakers. I’ve nice respect for his or her mission however given the filmmakers’ want to premiere the movie on the Sundance Movie Competition earlier than I consider it’s full, I really feel it’s finest to step apart. I might be working with Time’s As much as assist the victims and people impacted by abuse and sexual harassment.”
Dixon is without doubt one of the multiple women who made sexual assault allegations towards Simmons, 62. The famed report govt was accused of rape by at the least three girls in 2017 and adamantly denied the allegations.
Simmons penned his personal message to Winfrey final month sustaining his innocence, which he reposted once more following the information of Oprah’s exit.
“Dearest OPRAH, you have been a shining light to my family and my community,” he wrote. “It’s so troubling that you choose to single me out in your recent documentry [sic]. 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. … So many that some could reinterpret or reimagine a different recollection of the same experiences.”
“I’ve taken and handed 9 3-hour lie detector exams,” he added. “These tales are UNUSABLE.”
Rapper 50 Cent additionally beforehand referred to as out Winfrey through his social media accounts.
“I do not perceive why Oprah goes after black males,” 50 Cent, actual title Curtis Jackson, wrote on social media. “No Harvey Weinstein, No Epstein, simply Micheal [sic] jackson and Russell Simmons this s–t is unhappy.”
In a joint assertion to Fox Information, Simmons’ silence-breakers and survivors mentioned: “We’re greater than victims of rape. We’re Black girls. We’re moms, daughters, sisters and associates insisting on our proper to dwell and work free from sexual violence and abuse. We won’t again down, and we won’t be silenced. We aren’t afraid. After we raised our anguished voices to say, ‘No! Cease! Don’t’ to Russell Simmons, he ignored us.”