Def Jam: Can You Hear The Music Now?
The She Said & He Said! From A Man & Woman Perspective!!!
by Seanne N. Murray, Esq.
Rape is Rape, Not a Search for the Cure!!!
I relish at the thought of rapists, molesters and sexual assaulters unable to sleep at night, tossing and turning in the manifestation of their own nightmares.
We’ve moved from the, “No way Bill could have done that.” to “Damn, another one bites the dust!”
For any woman who’s experienced any level of sexual abuse, these are the glory days.
It’s like being in one of those revenge movies, Kill Bill, Fatal Attraction or The Help when Minnie gave Hilly Holbrook that delicious “chocolate” pie.
Would you like another slice?
The public apologies are so heroic aren’t they? NOT!
They’re all reading from the same public-relations handbook.
First you accept responsibility, apologize, offer help, seek healing and walk the line on anything that might result in payment or jail.
Did I mention I practiced law? Yeah, not criminal, but I know the lingo.
I must admit, Russell Simmons really pissed me off.
First, he was accused of “sexual misconduct” with model Keri Claussen Khalighi, while filmmaker-director Brett Ratner helped manipulate.
Simmons, of course, quickly went to the PR handbook (see above) and vigorously denied said allegations, calling the relationship with the then teenager “consensual.”
Then he emailed actor Terry Crews telling him to give, now, former WME agent, Adam Venit a pass for assaulting him at a party.
Crews outed him on Twitter, the only place to get real American news sans the account of the leader of our country.
Now, Jenny Lumet, daughter of Sidney Lumet and granddaughter of Lena Horne, has put Simmons on blast by providing every detail of her 1991 rape in a guest column in the Hollywood reporter earlier this week.
She tells it all in as much detail as she can remember from him taking her to his home rather than her own as she requested, to him raping her with his semi-erect penis to grabbing her clothes and quickly taking his elevator down to get a taxi home.
In a flash, Russell stepped down from various businesses stating his commitment to continuing his “personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening”.
Now correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t this dude been meditating and doing yoga for about 20 years?
He has a meditation app for God sake!
How much personal growth and spiritual learning does it take for a man not to rape a woman?
What kind of listening challenges does he have?
Does he need lessons on how to interpret the word “no”?
Does he need to stop listening to his penis and keep it in his pants where it belongs?
The apologies sound like some well phrased literature from Save the Children (no offense meant to the great work they do) or the prologue to a fundraiser to search for the cure for some rare childhood disease.
NBC’s Matt Lauer concluded his, from the handbook apology, with, “ Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul-searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full-time job.”
What in the absolute ef is this dude talking about?
Yeah, I worked on Wall Street too. I swear and I missed the corporate class on how to apologize for what I mean.
Seriously, Matt, soul searching is your full-time job?
You need to soul search on why you can’t control your sexual urges like a normal human being?
This isn’t like searching for a solution to hunger or the opioid crises.
Let’s be clear. These men are tasteless, improper, criminals without respect for women, their families, colleagues or professions.
With every new outing of “alleged” sexual violation, there’s a new lame ass apology.
You’d almost mistake Al Franken as some kind of hero for being so valiant and opening up the conversation that we’ve all been waiting to have.
How many women have accused him now? Six?
I gag every time I think of them “learning from their mistakes”.
Hey guys, this isn’t kindergarten.
Rape, sexual assault and sexual misconduct aren’t little accidents any more than grand theft or murder.
these are crimes done on purpose with intention.
So, stop talking about how ashamed and embarrassed you are and take responsibility for your criminal and inhumane behavior.
For the rest of you who we’ll be learning about soon, there’s no sleep for the wicked and we’re not interested in hearing about your Super Soul Sunday self-help strategies.
P.S. Can we please stop referring to rape as sexual misconduct!!! Thank You!!
THE HE SAID: THE MALE PERSPECTIVE!!
By ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY JAMES L. WALKER, JR.
These Women Need to Be Paid And Taken Care Of, Stop the Legal Maneuvering
As a man, I have never ever had a woman accuse me of anything remotely like these charges being leveled against Russell Simmons a.k.a. “Uncle Rush” to most of us in the music and entertainment game. Because I have never done it and never will do it.
Under New York law rape is broadly defined as any nonconsensual sex. The law (found at N.Y. Pen. Code Sec. 130.5) further classifies sex offenses into four degrees, all of which are felonies, depending on the presence of certain aggravating factors, such as weather a weapon was involved and the status of the victim (e.g., incapacity to consent by reason of age, unconsciousness, or mental infirmity).
Clearly these women feel they were raped by Simmons and the other men mentioned by my colleague Seanne Murray above, allegedly, or forced into non-consensual relationships.
When the news first broke with the first young lady, I tweeted, emailed and posted on social media to Uncle Rush that he not justify the relationship with “17” year-old
model Keri Claussen Khalighi as “consensual” due to the power imbalance of her as a young model and he as a music mogul and founder of Def Jam Records, a company that has made billions.
I also urged Unc to own the fact that this could basically be one of his daughters, mine or yours and it was wrong and horrific to learn about.
I have 2 beautiful daughters and this whole nightmare for women is what disturbs me most as a father and I assure you if these were my girls, someone would be bailing me out of a jail somewhere.
But the guy who bought us “Fight The Power” is now Public Enemy #1, without Flava Flav and Chuck D in the group.
And, it is preposterous that he does not realize the pain this has caused not only the women with allegations against him, but men and women nationwide, many posting the #MeToo hashtag to stand in support of the movement started when fellow entertainment titan Harvey Weinstein was outed by several Hollywood actresses.
From a male perspective, I will never pretend to feel the pain of any of the millions of women who have been sexually assaulted, raped, groped, propositioned or any other horrible deed done by a man.
I will never pretend to know what Lena Horne’s Granddaughter Jenny Lumet, who stands on her own credentials as an extraordinary screenwriter, felt in that car ride with Simmons when the doors automatically locked and the driver, along with Simmons allegedly took her into his apartment and she was raped.
I will never pretend to understand the pain of the women who were allegedly abused by Matt Lauer, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Sen. Al Franken and so many others. (I hate using the word “allegedly” or “alleged”, but legally we have to use that to avoid lawsuits, etc., so bare with me if you see those words appear several times).
I will never pretend to understand the position a woman feels when she is in a meeting with a powerful man, whether in Hollywood or on Broadway or in corporate America and she is faced with either cooperate with a Simmons, Lauer or O’Reilly or get fired and worry about how am I gonna feed my child or pay my rent.
And, lastly, I will never know what it feels like to get the hate and backlash many of the women are feeling after they come forward and tell their stories.
Lumet was courageous to share what happened as a 24 yr-old still establishing herself when allegedly raped by Simmons and knows it will cost her jobs.
Although I will never know or can’t pretend to know, what I do know is I admire them all and hope they get paid billions.
Which leads me to legally why all of the quick resignations (Lauer from NBC, O’Reilly from Fox and Simmons from Def Jam).
These come to Jesus, fall on the sword moments and I found my soul moments by the abusers are solely for legal maneuvering.
These companies know that there is a huge legal liability coming, just as The Weinstein Company is seeing now with women assaulted by Harvey Weinstein.
It will be no different for NBC, Def Jam and the next major corporation legally as these women all rightfully lawyer-up and get hopefully, paid.
It is the least they could get from these horrible experiences as their respect, pride and dignity were taken away as beautiful souls and hopefully, the Court system can remedy a small piece of that psychological, mental, emotional and verbal abuse many have suffered.
And, let’s not forget the countless actresses and artists who were blacklisted and suffered huge economic losses in their careers.
I always thought Russell Simmons put the “Def” in “Def Jam Records”.
It broke my heart to see these allegations come out to a man I have talked to on several occasions, discussed doing music deals and had artists signed to his label.
I pray he is not death now and can hear and feel the pain of these women and all people abused and violated by the culture he supported.
P.S. Can we stop using the word “Consensual” with minors or with innocent women who lack the power in all of these situations! Thank You.
SEANNE N MURRAY, ESQ. is based in Los Angeles. She changes the world through media and social enterprise. Seanne is an activist, screenwriter and dream fulfiller. See www.seannenmurrayenterpris
JAMES L. WALKER, JR. is based in Atlanta, GA. He is an entertainment lawyer and business attorney. He is also the author of “This Business of Urban Music” and can be found at www.walkerandassoc.com