Russell Simmons Celebrates Daughter Ming Lee's 20th Birthday Amid Oprah Documentary Drama
Russell Simmons put aside personal troubles to wish his first child, Ming Lee Simmons, a happy birthday. The young lady just turned 20, and Russell celebrated the milestone age with a nostalgic social media post.
Russell, 62, has not been in the news for the best reasons lately. The music mogul is currently the subject of sexual misconduct allegations from several women, but he’s not letting that stop him from being the dad he is.
Ming, who Russell shares with his ex-wife, Kimora Lee Simmons Leissner, turned 20 on January 21. To commemorate her exit from the teenage years, the doting dad took to Instagram with a montage of Ming’s photos and videos from over the years.
"This is not a victory lap for him. I cannot be silenced by a Russell Simmons after all I've been through."
The footage included clips from Ming’s childhood and mostly featured her younger sister, Aoki Lee Simmons. There were also a few old magazine covers featuring the Simmons clan when Russell and Kimora were still married.
"Ming Lee bday celebration video," Russell captioned the heartwarming throwback post. "My beautiful baby @mingleesimmons! Already 20 years old!! Time flys! (sic)"
"What a lucky man I am to have such an amazing, sweet, compassionate, and loving daughter," he added. "Happy bday baby girl. Keep it up; you are doing great."
SOCIAL MEDIA LOVE
Russell’s post has garnered thousands of likes and comments, with Aoki and Kimora leading the train. "This is the cutest!!! Happy birthday, @mingleesimmons," Aoki wrote while Kimora admitted the clip made her emotional.
The birthday girl also got tons of wishes from other Instagram fans. Ming is quite the Instagram queen with her posts and recent bikini photos, so it’s no surprise her big day got a lot of attention.
THE CONTROVERSIAL DOCUMENTARY
Meanwhile, Russell is currently defending himself against sexual misconduct allegations, which are being explored in "On The Record," a documentary set to premiere at Sundance Film Festival on January 25.
The accusations were brought forward by numerous women over the years, including music executive Drew Dixon, whose life and career are adversely affected by the abuse she allegedly faced from men in the industry.
Oprah Winfrey, who backed out from her producer role in the documentary last week, recently claimed Russell tried to pressure her into abandoning the project. The media mogul clarified, however, that Russell’s influence was not the reason she backed away.
"I told him directly in a phone call that I will not be pressured either into or out of, backing this film," Oprah told the New York Times. "I am only going to do what I believe to be the right thing."
WHY SHE WITHDREW FROM THE PROJECT
During a Tuesday appearance on "CBS This Morning," Oprah said the real reason she left the documentary project was that it had "some inconsistencies in the stories that we need to look at."
"I unequivocally say that I did not pull out because of Russell. This is not a victory lap for him," Oprah reiterated. "I cannot be silenced by a Russell Simmons after all I've been through."
The OWN Network founder made it clear that she supports the women who have come out with their stories against Russell, but "I wanted the context of the story to be broadened, I wanted more women to be brought in."
On his part, Russell’s only public response to Oprah’s involvement in the documentary was a December Instagram post where he once again denied being "violent" or forcing himself on anyone.
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