Russell Simmons Scrubbed from Oprah Winfrey’s Spiritual Advice Book amid Rape Allegations

Oprah Winfrey, center, stands with Russell Simmons, right, and other mourners as the casket enters for the funeral of Eunice Kennedy Shriver at Saint Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church in the Hyannis section of Barnstable, Mass., Friday, Aug. 14, 2009. Shriver, the sister of President John F. Kennedy and Massachusetts …
AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool

Contributions from disgraced music and fashion mogul Russell Simmons have been removed from Oprah Winfrey’s latest spiritual advice book following rape allegations against Simmons, The New York Times reports.

According to Marlena Bittner, a spokeswoman for publisher Flatiron Books, future copies of Winfrey’s book The Wisdom of Sundays will no longer include passages of Simmons describing the effect that meditation had on his life, as well as thoughts on the “soul, abundance, and wealth.”

Simmons, 60, built a successful career as a music and movie producer and entrepreneur, building multiple music and fashion labels over a period of decades and amassed a worth of an estimated $340 million.

However, three women came forward with allegations of rape against the mogul last December. Multiple women have also accused him of sexual misconduct. Last week, the aspiring filmmaker Jennifer Jarosik filed a $5 million lawsuit against Simmons, alleging that he raped her in Los Angeles in 2016 after inviting her to his home to discuss a documentary.

Simmons was also removed from a new self-help book by the entrepreneur and Shark Tank judge Daymond John entitled Rise and Grind. 

The decision follows criticism Oprah faced over her ties to the disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose chronic sexual harassment of women sparked a wider industry scandal around sexual abuse.

Winfrey has nonetheless been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns, both of which seek to tackle sexual abuse within the industry. She was recently the subject of speculation that she might run for the presidency in 2020 following her barnstorming speech at the Golden Globe’s award ceremony.

However, Winfrey has since quashed such speculation, stating that a run for the presidency was not of interest to her.

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