Friday, January 15, 2021

Russell Simmons #MeToo Documentary Receives Standing Ovation at Sundance + Features New Music by Lauryn Hill

*The Russell Simmons #MeToo documentary featuring women who claimed the music mogul sexually assaulted them received a standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend.

Titled “On The Record,” the project features testimony from Drew Dixon, Sil Lai Abrams and Alexia Norton Jones about their experiences with Simmons. 

We previously reported, Abrams said she dated Simmons on and off in the early ’90s but she called it off after he raped her in 1994. 

Jones claims Simmons raped her on their first date in 1991.

“This was a very swift attack, and what was going through my mind more than anything was, ‘Why?’ Because I liked Russell. And I, you know, I would’ve just kissed him. I would’ve made out with him. I would’ve — he didn’t have to attack me,” she said recently in an interview with CBS This Morning. “He raped me right up against the fucking wall. Excuse my language. But he — that’s what he did. I had to keep this secret.”

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Simmons has denied all rape allegations.

Oprah Winfrey was announced as an executive producer of the doc in December but she recently stepped down from the project, citing creative differences with the filmmakers.

“There is more work to be done on the film to illuminate the full scope of what the victims endured,” Winfrey said in part in a statement. “I want it to be known that I unequivocally believe and support the women.”

Winfrey said on CBS This Morning on Jan 21: “This is not a victory for Russell! I unequivocally say that I did not pull out for Russell. This is not a victory lap for him. I cannot be silenced by Russell Simmons after all I’ve been through. And also, I spent three years on trial trying to protect the girls at my school who had accused a dorm parent of sexual assault. Three years on trial and nobody believed them.”

According to thejasminebrand.com, “On The Record” also features a song from singer Lauryn Hill titled, “D*mnable Heresies.” 

A rep for Hill said, “This previously unreleased track was specifically chosen by Ms. Hill to appear in the film.”

The song is featured during the credits for the documentary.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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