Oprah Winfrey Reveals Russell Simmons ‘Attempted to Pressure Me’ to Drop #MeToo Documentary

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By Alexia Fernandez | People

Oprah Winfrey has dropped out as an executive producer on a documentary that delves into sexual misconduct allegations against Russell Simmons — but not because he pressured her, she says.

The media mogul, 65, spoke to The New York Times in an interview published Friday in which she alleged Simmons, 62, tried to convince her to back out of the film, named On The Record, as an executive producer. Winfrey ultimately did pull out of the film, citing creative differences between herself and the filmmakers.

“He did reach out multiple times and attempted to pressure me,” Winfrey said. “I told him directly in a phone call that I will not be pressured either into, or out of, backing this film.”

She added, “I am only going to do what I believe to be the right thing.”

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, Simmons’ rep Thomasina Perkins-Washington said, “If defending himself against terrible accusations is considered intimidation then there would be no justice. Witnesses and family members were intimidated for expressing their views against these allegations.”

She added “written accounts and sworn testimony” depicted Simmons as “incapable of being violent toward women with whom he had ongoing highly visible romantic relationships from nearly 40 years back.”

Read more >> http://ow.ly/eiOt50y0XWv

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