Lena Horne was a singer and activist in her days. Her granddaughter, Jenny Lumet, grew to become a screenwriter and last year, famously accused Russell Simmons of sexual assault.
Before November 2017, Lumet was mostly known for her screenwriting work in “Rachel Getting Married” and “The Mummy.” That changed after Russell Simmons released a statement to deny the sexual assault allegations leveled against him by model Keri Claussen Khalighi. The media mogul said in his statement:
"I have never committed any acts of aggression or violence in my life. I would never knowingly cause fear or harm to anyone."
His claims prompted Lumet to write a lengthy letter, detailing how he assaulted her when she was “around 24.” She reminded Simmons how they met through a mutual friend and hung out frequently in the same circles.
THE UGLY RIDE
Lumet recalled that the entertainment tycoon made advances toward her, which she denied. Then one day he offered her a ride, and things turned ugly:
“I got into the car with you. The driver began to drive. I assumed you knew where I lived, because you had sent me 250 balloons, but I gave the driver my address on 19th Street and 2nd Avenue.
You said to the driver: ‘No.’
I didn't understand, so I said: ‘Russell?’
I said, again, to the driver: ‘19th Street.’
Again you said to the driver: ‘No.’
Then the car doors locked. It was loud. The noise made me jump.”
The award-winning writer explained how Simmons took her to his home against her will that night. She disclosed that he started groping her right from the elevator and eventually performing sexual acts on her.
The letter exposed the pain, dread, and a myriad of emotions felt by the young Lumet, as she remembers thinking, "Just keep him calm, and you'll get home."
SIMMONS' REACTION TO LUMET'S CLAIMS
The explosive letter led to Simmons tendering a public apology and stepping down from his businesses. In his words:
“I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.”
MORE TROUBLE FOR SIMMONS
More recently, in July this year, the Def Jam co-founder was accused by yet another lady, Alexia Norton Jones, who claimed he raped her after a date in 1990. Simmons denied the allegations in a statement that reads in part:
“At no time did she share these feelings about her first sexual encounter with me, which took place roughly 28 years ago. …Alexia and I dated, were intimate and attended multiple events together after she alleges the incident occurred in 1990…”
Jamie Foxx is another celebrity who has been accused of sexual assault in recent times. An unidentified female told the Police that the actor slapped her with his penis 16 years ago after she refused to grant him oral sex.
The "Ray" actor denied the claims and promised to take legal action.