“This is not a victory for Russell.”
Oprah Winfrey severed ties with an upcoming documentary on Russell Simmons’ accusers, but the former talk show queen says that her decision isn’t a “victory” for the Def Jam Records founder.
“This is not a victory for Russell,” Winfrey told CBS This Morning on Tuesday (Jan. 21) while promoting her new health and wellness tour. “I unequivocally say that I did not pull out because of Russell. This is not a victory lap for him. I cannot be silenced by a Russell Simmons after all I’ve been through.”
Simmons has denied all allegations of sexual assault.
Though Winfrey believes that the accuser’s deserve to be heard, she made the “hard decision” to resign as executive producer of the film after new “information” emerged. Winfrey approached the filmmakers about her concerns and suggested that the film be pulled from the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
“I had said to them, ‘Houston, I think we have a problem here’ because new information had come forward.” Because the filmmakers opted not to pull the film, which is slated to premiere at the festival this weekend, Winfrey removed herself from the production team.
“You have the right to change your mind and make changes,” she added. “What this has taught me is, don’t put your name on anything that you do not have creative control over.”
Watch the full interview above.