*(Via UrbanHollywood411) – Oprah Winfrey says Russell Simmons contacted her multiple times urging her to abandon a documentary about sexual assault allegations against him.
A week after withdrawing as executive producer of the film titled On the Record, Winfrey told the New York Times Friday that Simmons contacted her to question the credibility of one of the accusers.
“He did reach out multiple times and attempted to pressure me,” Winfrey said, adding that Simmons told her Drew Dixon, the main subject of the film was lying.
Dixon is a former music executive who worked for Simmons at Def Jam Records, and has alleged in interviews that he raped her in 1995. Simmons has repeatedly denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.
Winfrey said others, whom she would not identify, also contacted her about Dixon. Winfrey insisted in the Times interview that she ultimately backed out of the project because of inconsistencies in Dixon’s story, not anything Simmons said.
“I told him directly in a phone call that I will not be pressured either into, or out of, backing this film. I am only going to do what I believe to be the right thing,” Winfrey said. She also revealed that she turned to When They See Us director Ava DuVernay to get her opinion on the Simmons doc before making a decision.
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