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Oprah Says “I Believe The Victims” Of Russell Simmons Despite Exiting Documentary

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Oprah Winfrey broke down why she has removed her brand from the upcoming #MeToo documentary about hip hop icon Russell Simmons. On Tuesday (Jan. 21), Oprah appeared on CBS This Morning with her close friend Gayle King and revealed why she exited the position of executive producer on the documentary on the former Def Jam mogul Russell Simmons concerning four women with allegations of rape and sexual assault. Oprah Winfrey made sure to let people know it was a creative rift that caused the removal and that Simmons should not take this as a victory of justice.

”This is not a victory for Russell,” Oprah said. “I unequivocally say that I did not pull out because of Russell. This is not a victory lap for him. I cannot be silenced by a Russell Simmons after all I’ve been through.”

Oprah Wnfrey’s main concern was keeping the information correct and not having any errors in the film. She went on to say, “I had said to them, ‘Houston, I think we have a problem here’ because new information had come forward,” Oprah continued. “I don’t care about awards — I just care about getting it right, and I think there’s some inconsistencies in the stories that we need to look at. I wanted the context of the story to be broadened, I wanted more women brought into the story.”

Russel Simmons did go on social media and tried to use his power to leverage support from his community as stated below.

“Dearest OPRAH, you have been a shining light to my family and my community. Contributing so much to my life that I couldn’t list a fraction of it in this blog.I have given you the gift of meditation and the groundbreaking book ”THE POWER OF NOW “we bonded to say the least,” Simmons wrote. “This is why it’s so troubling that you choose me to single out in your recent documentry. 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. So many that some could reinterpret or reimagine a different recollection of the same experiences.”

Simmons believed that the women chosen for the documentary did not get the light of day from other platforms such as CNN, NBC, and New York Post.

“Your doc is focused on 3 hand chosen women. I have 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”. “

Simmons also accused producers of the documentary of exploiting his past unfaithfulness to women to create a sensational piece about his sexual deviancy.

“I received a call from an old girlfriend from the early 1980s which means that they are using my words/evidence against me and their COMMITMENT/ (all of the claims are 25 to 40 years old),” Simmons said. “It is impossible to prove what happened 40 years ago, but in my case PROOF EXISTS of what didn’t happen, mostly signed letters from their own parents, siblings, roommates, band members, interns, and in the case of 2 of your 3 accusers,their own words in their books. Shocking how many people have misused this important powerful revolution for relevance and money. … In closing, I am guilty of exploiting, supporting, and making the soundtrack for a grossly unequal society, i have even been unconsciously callous , but i have never been violent or forced myself on anyone.”

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#Repost @unclerush when documentary was announced.. Dearest OPRAH,you have been a shining light to my family and my community. Contributing so much to my life that I couldn’t list a fraction of it in this blog.Ihave given you the gift of meditation and the groundbreaking book”THE POWER OF NOW “we bonded to say the least. This is why it’s so troubling that you choose me to single out in your recent documentry. 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. So many that some could reinterpret or reimagine a different recollection of the same experiences. Your doc is focused on 3 hand chosen women. I have 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”. Today I received a call from an old girlfriend from the early 1980s which means that they are using my words/evidence against me and their COMMITMENT/ (all of the claims are 25 to 40 years old) It is impossible to prove what happened 40 years ago, but in my case PROOF EXISTS of what didn’t happen, mostly signed letters from their own parents, siblings, roommates, band members, interns, and in the case of 2 of your 3 accusers,their own words in their books. Shocking how many people have misused this important powerful revolution for relevance and money. … In closing, I am guilty of exploiting, supporting, and making the soundtrack for a grossly unequal society, i have even been unconsciously callous , but i have never been violent or forced myself on anyone. Still I am here to help support a necessary shift in power and consciousness. Let us get to work on uplifting humanity and put this moment and old narrative behind us Love you

A post shared by Russell Simmons (@unclerush) on

Oprah Winfrey received some backlash for the interview she did with Michael Jackson accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck over the documentary “Leaving Neverland”. She removed the interview from her platform after new information arose. It seems Winfrey was trying to not have the same fate once again and did an early exit of this Simmons project.

“I have lived #MeToo since I was 9 years old, and was raped at 9, sexually assaulted from 9 to 14, and then raped again at 14,” Oprah said. “And nothing is harder than standing up for yourself when you’re 14 and not being believed, and I was not believed by my own family. So I stand in support of these women. I believe them. What this has taught me is, don’t put your name on anything that you do not have creative control over.”

A sentiment she learned from friend and director Ava DuVernay, who states that she received an email to preview the doc; and also confirmed that Oprah was receiving pressure from Simmons to back out.

”It was harsh. She’s got Simmons on one side pressuring her, and then she’s got a film on the other side that she doesn’t agree with,” DuVernay said. “So if she walks away from the film, she seems like she’s caving to Simmons, and if she stays with the film, then she’s putting her name on something that she feels doesn’t quite hit the mark.”

Some on social media have called out Oprah Winfrey for not being consistent with following up with inconsistencies in allegations towards celebrities of African American background.

“What a joke. So Oprah could pay attention to “inconsistencies” in this instace, but not in Leaving Neverland? That “documentary” was full of lies and proven falsehoods. Yet she still endorsed it,” one Twitter user wrote.

Check out the Oprah Winfrey interview below.