Russell Simmons steps down after sexual misconduct allegation

Russell Simmons is stepping down from his companies in the wake of an accusation of harassment and sexual assault. (CNN)

LOS ANGELES — Def Jam Records founder Russell Simmons says he is stepping away from his companies following a second allegation of sexual misconduct.

In an essay published by The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, screenwriter Jenny Lumet described a “circa 1991” incident in which she says Simmons offered her a ride home following a social gathering but instead took her to his New York apartment against her will and had sex with her.

Lumet says she was prompted to speak out by Simmons’ denial earlier this month of a separate 1991 allegation of misconduct by another woman.

Simmons says in a statement released after the essay that although Lumet’s memory of the night is “very different” from his, it’s clear to him “that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real.” He apologized for being “thoughtless and insensitive” in some of his relationships.