Sexual harassment scandals

Rap mogul quits business amid sexual allegations

A screenwriter for the 2008 movie, Rachel Getting Married, has accused Russell Simmons of sexually assaulting her.
A screenwriter for the 2008 movie, Rachel Getting Married, has accused Russell Simmons of sexually assaulting her.PHOTO: NYTIMES

NEW YORK • Two men said sorry, another slammed a supposed lack of fair play, while a fourth was grilled by police as the sexual-allegation storm fanned more controversy.

Rap mogul Russell Simmons, 60, said on Thursday he was quitting his business empire after Jenny Lumet, 50, screenwriter for the 2008 movie Rachel Getting Married, said he assaulted her in 1991 when she was 24. Writing in The Hollywood Reporter, she added that he forced her into his New York apartment, with his driver refusing her pleas to be taken to her home.

Simmons earlier denied accusations by model Keri Claussen Khalighi, 43, that he assaulted her in 1991 when she was 17.

On Thursday, Matt Lauer, 59, also expressed "sorrow and regret" after NBC News fired the Today show anchor amid claims of sexual misbehaviour with colleagues.

By Thursday, NBC had received at least three complaints, including one from a former employee who said he sexually assaulted her in his office in 2001.

The Sydney Theatre Company (STC) also received a complaint from an actor who had taken part in a 2015 to 2016 production of King Lear that starred Geoffrey Rush.

The person alleged "inappropriate behaviour" by Rush, 66.

Rush, through his lawyers, said neither the complainant nor the STC contacted him about the matter. But STC said it had responded truthfully to media inquiries about the existence of a complaint it investigated and that the actor wanted to stay anonymous.

In Seoul, South Korean director Kim Ki Duk, 56, had been questioned over allegations of assaulting an actress, reported The Korea Herald. The unnamed 41-year-old said he slapped and coerced her to shoot an unscripted sex scene while filming the 2013 movie Moebius.

She left the production after the quarrel. Kim admitted to having slapped her, but reiterated his previous stance that it was merely to help her get into character. He also told the investigators that he had no memory of the sex scene.

NYTIMES, AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2017, with the headline 'Rap mogul quits business amid sexual allegations'. Print Edition | Subscribe