Ahead of documentary premiere, Russell Simmons' accusers detail alleged violent assaults
Russell Simmons' accusers are speaking out ahead of the release of a documentary centered on sexual misconduct allegations against the music executive.
Three women – Drew Dixon, Sil Lai Abrams and Alexia Norton Jones – sat down with CBS News' Michelle Miller Wednesday to detail Simmons' alleged actions.
Dixon says Simmons "violently tackled and raped" her in 1995 while she was working her dream job as an executive at Def Jam Recordings, which Simmons co-founded.
"He was ordering me a car, and he told me to come upstairs and pick up a demo," Dixon said while sitting at a table with the other accusers and Miller. "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 claims she briefly dated and "hung out" with Simmons before he raped her in 1994. She denies that the sexual contact was consensual.
"He'll say, 'Yes, we had a sexual relationship,' but he cannot address the fact that I was too drunk to consent," she said. "That the next day I called him up, screaming. And I attempted suicide. He knew. And I told him why, that he had ruined my life, and that I had nothing."
Norton Jones says she knew Simmons before he became a mogul in the hip-hop industry. She claims that he forced himself onto her during their first date in 1991.
"He raped me right up against the (expletive) wall. Excuse my language … that's what he did. I had to keep this secret," she said while tearing up.
Norton Jones continued: "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."
The women said they decided to come forward with allegations against Simmons following the #MeToo movement and the downfall of Harvey Weinstein, another powerful man who allegedly intimidated victims into silence.
"He is a media mogul," Dixon said. "He has millions of followers. I have, like, a thousand. … And he is using all of that muscle to try to drown out our voices."
She continued: "It felt like this portal opened suddenly, where women were being believed, and I wondered if that would apply to black women."
The still-untitled documentary will premiere at Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 25. The festival describes the film as "the haunting story of music executive Drew Dixon, whose career and personal life have been deeply affected by the abuse she faced from the men she admired in the industry she loves. … The film follows Dixon (producer of hit records by 2Pac, Method Man and Mary J. Blige) as she grapples with her decision to become one of the first women of color to come forward as part of the #MeToo movement."
On Friday, Oprah Winfrey pulled out as executive producer from the project, citing creative reasons and the pressing festival deadline." She also said the project will no longer stream on AppleTV+, as had been scheduled.
Despite her withdrawal, Winfrey made it clear that she "unequivocally believe(s) and support(s) the women," adding, "their stories deserve to be told and heard."
Simmons' rep did not immediately return USA TODAY's request for comment.
He has previously denied all allegations against him: "These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual."
Contributing: Bryan Alexander, The Associated Press