Russell Simmons halts #NotMe campaign to allow 'women to speak'

Russell Simmons has halted his #NotMe campaign after deciding that "this is a time for women to speak".

The Def Jam Recordings co-founder recently stepped down from his companies after former model Keri Claussen Khalighi and screenwriter Jenny Lumet accused him of sexual assault in November (17).

In December, he was hit with accusations of sexual misconduct, rape and assault from a group of other women in exposes published in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

However, following the publication of the articles, Simmons vehemently denied the allegations and stated that he would present evidence to prove his innocence. He also revealed he was creating a new movement called #NotMe - in response to the #MeToo initiative created to encourage sexual assault victims to come forward.

"My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in anyway, but instead hold my accusers accountable. #NotMe Again, this is not a movement against or even in conjunction with #Metoo. It's just a statement about my innocence," he said at the time.

Following the post on Instagram, Simmons returned to the social media site on three separate occasions, each time sharing an inspirational quote. But there has been no mention of his #NotMe campaign.

And now representatives for the star have told the New York Post's gossip column Page Six that he has decided to put the movement on ice, as he has decided it's a "time for women to speak".

"Mr. Simmons’ previous statements stand, and he has nothing to add to (them) at this time," the spokesperson added in their statement.

Simmons' decision comes just a day after the Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, where the majority of stars wore black to pledge their support to the Time's Up movement - founded in response to the sexual harassment scandal sweeping Hollywood and the #MeToo allegations.

Simmons has allegedly taken a polygraph test in response to the claims he sexually assaulted model Khalighi, and claims the results prove his innocence. According to the music mogul's attorneys, he plans to repeat the polygraph test for allegations made by four other women - and he'll release the results once he's completed all the tests.

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