On January 25, the documentary starring Russell Simmons’s sexual assault accusers is set to premiere at The Sundance Film Festival. The already-controversial film was thrust into even more scandal after it was revealed that Oprah Winfrey was acting as an executive producer. Both 50 Cent and Russell Simmons publicly denounced the OWN mogul’s inclusion, and later, Oprah announced that she was distancing herself from the project due to “creative vision” differences. The Def Jam mogul has vehemently denied the sexual misconduct accusations against him.
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Ahead of the film’s premiere, three women who have accused Simmons of assault—Drew Dixon, Sil Lai Abrams, and Alexia Norton Jones—sat down with CBS This Morning to share their stories. “I hope that black women and girls become more visible as a result of this documentary,” said Dixon. “This is violently tackled and raped — while saying no and fighting and crying.”
“I literally worked for him,” she continued. “He was ordering me a car, and he told me to come upstairs and pick up a demo. I thought I would be in his apartment for five total minutes. That’s it. And he showed up naked, wearing a condom and tackled me to his bed, while I screamed and fought and said, ‘No,’ and cried. That’s rape.”
Abrams said she dated Simmons in the early 1990s and alleges that he raped her, as well. “He’ll say, ‘Yes, we had a sexual relationship,’ but he cannot address the fact that I was too drunk to consent, and that the next day I called him up, screaming,” Abrams stated. “And I attempted suicide. He knew, and I told him why, that he had ruined my life, and that I had nothing.”
Meanwhile, Jones accuses Simmons of raping her in 1991 on their first date. “This was a very swift attack, and what was going through my mind more than anything was, ‘Why?’ Because I liked Russell,” Jones said. “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. He raped me right up against the f*cking wall. Excuse my language. But he — that’s what he did. I had to keep this secret.” Watch the clip below.