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AP
Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons stepped down from his business empire after being accused of sexual misconduct for the second time.
By Naeisha Rose

Not only did Russell Simmons step down from his multimillion-dollar companies after being accused of sexual misconduct twice in November, but he has also resigned from the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.

“Effective immediately, our co-founder and co-chairman of the board of directors, Russell Simmons, will be stepping down from his post at Rush Arts,” said Tangie Murray, the executive director of the foundation for inner city youth.

The Hollis native and hip-hop mogul was a big contributor to many schools and organizations in the southeast Queens area.

The foundation has supported schools like PS 171 in Long Island City and MS 226 in South Ozone Park with the Rush Gallery School, which sends art teachers from his organization to help art galleries at the schools, according to rushphilanthropic.org.

In October Simmons donated $25,000 to the Queens violence prevention organization, LIFE, after he went to Rochdale Middle School 72 for an anti-violence summit with LIFE founder Erica Ford.

In 2002, he donated $10,000 to the Queens Public Library system to support programs for the youth.

With the hip-hop mogul’s departure from foundation, it was not known how that would affect organizations from the southeast Queens area that depended on his contributions.

Taking over the reins of the organization is Simmons’ older brother, Danny Simmons.

“Our co-founder and co-chairman, artist Danny Simmons, who inspired our mission and has steered the course of the foundation over the years, will continue to serve,” said Murray.

Simmons removed himself from his companies after facing accusations of sexual assault twice in November, but he denied the claims against him in a statement issued across his multiple social media platforms.

“I completely and unequivocally deny the horrendous allegations of non-consensual sex against me,” Simmons said in a post.

Simmons is the founder of Def Jam Recordings, a hip-hop label that helped to usher in music by Hollis artists like LL Cool J and Run-DMC, which includes his younger brother Rev. Run.

On Nov. 30 he pulled out of his clothing lines Phat Farm, Argyleculture, and Tantris. He also left Def Jam Films as well as Def Jam Recordings.

HBO removed his name from the new stand-up series “All Def Comedy,” which premiered Dec.1, according to the organization.

“I don’t want to be a distraction, so I am removing myself from the businesses that I founded,” Simmons said in a second post. “The companies will now be run by a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives… I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all listening.”

His departure came after his second accuser, screenwriter Jenny Lumet, wrote a column for The Hollywood Reporter and described in detail how he allegedly forced the then 24-year-old to have sex with him after pretending he was going to drive her home one night in 1991.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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