After maintaining he is innocent of rape, Russell Simmons has halted his #NotMe campaign. The Def Jam Recordings co-founder had taken a lie detector test to prove he did not rape one of his accusers. But now, his representatives have told Page Six he decided “that this is a time for women to speak.”
On Tuesday, Jan. 9, Simmons reps indicated the mogul, who had stepped away from his businesses in November amid growing allegations, isn’t calling off his campaign entirely.
“Mr. Simmons’ previous statements stand, and he has nothing to add to [them] at this time,” they said.
The 60-year-old launched the #NotMe initiative, a response to the #MeToo campaign in which social media users called out sexual harassment and assault.
“Today, I begin to properly defend myself,” he wrote on Instagram Thursday, Dec. 14. “I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges.”
Sexual Assault and Russell Simmons
He vowed to prove he did not rape model Keri Claussen, which led to the polygraph test. TMZ reported he claimed the results proved he did not have sex with Claussen against her will.
Then, Simmons was supposed to then direct his attention to another accuser, Jenny Lumet, but that did not publicly come to fruition.
“My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in anyway [sic],” he continued. “But instead hold my accusers accountable. #NotMe, again, this is not a movement against or even in conjunction with #Metoo. It’s just a statement about my innocence.”