If I didn’t need to use a RushCard to sign up for especially problematic pr0n sites, I’d seriously consider canceling my membership. That’s how disappointed I am in Russell Simmons.
It was announced yesterday that Rush is stepping down from the umpteen companies he supposedly runs, effective immediately, after it was revealed, in an op-ed in a Hollywood trade publication, that he coerced screenwriter Jenny Lumet into making sweet, passionate love to him in 1991. Allegedly.
Lumet, the half-black (at best) daughter of director Sidney Lumet, said she was inspired to share her story after Rush copped a plea in response to another sexual assault allegation, claiming that he never, ever once was aggressive with a woman or caused a woman to be afraid of him. To hear Lumet tell it, he did just that.
Honestly, their interaction sounds more like a pump-and-dump than legit non-consensual lovemaking. Rush, she says, offered her a ride home and then had his driver take them back to his apartment, which is certainly deceptive. There, she says, she didn’t put up a fight, but only because she was afraid he might become violent with her.
Once he finished (on her stomach), she quickly got up, got dressed and left. Rush didn’t bother to try to stop her or even get her a cab. That was definitely a strategic mistake on his part, in addition to being just plain inconsiderate. Derek Jeter gives his jumpoffs gift bags, as if they just attended the Oscars, and you don’t see him being accused of things like this—and he fucked everybody!
If you read between the lines of the op-ed, it’s obvious what’s going on here. They’d known each other, in passing, for four years before the alleged incident. She says she never had any serious feelings for him, which of course means she was madly in love with him. She describes him as “charming and funny and charismatic and self-deprecating,” and says they had a large group of mutual friends.
Rush liked her at least enough to pull that chauffeur ruse, but he wasn’t about to settle down. This was around the same time as the alleged incident with the model. Brett Ratner was bringing a lot of girls over to his house. They even considered starting their own modeling agency, so they could bang all the models.
In a statement, Rush says his companies will now be run by “a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives,” while a yoga studio he founded, Tantris (which sounds like the name of a sex dungeon), will be converted into “a not-for-profit center of learning and healing.”
It wasn’t clear to me, from the one and a half articles I skimmed, but it sounds like Rush will continue to profit from these companies, except for the sketchy yoga studio. He just won’t pretend to run them anymore.
If that’s true, and if he’s allowed to get away with it, then that’s a great idea. This way, everyone gets to benefit, at least somewhat, from what otherwise would have been a lose-lose situation. The SJW online mob gets to feel as if they got someone fired from their job (several jobs, even), as if that’s a meaningful form of justice. Rush himself gets to continue to line his pockets, without even showing up to work. And it’s likely these companies won’t suffer from not having Rush around on occasion. They might even be better off.
Though it isn’t clear how profitable any of these companies are. This isn’t Phat Farm or Def Jam Recordings we’re talking about. Rush sold off his stake in those companies a long time ago. The list of companies he stepped down from yesterday calls to mind the companies Dame Dash was left with when he split from Jay-Z, like maybe they were all things he would have sold a long time ago, if anyone was interesting in buying them.
RushCard wasn’t included in their ranks. Initially, I thought maybe this was an oversight on the part of CNN, which has been known to publish fake news, but come to find out RushCard was sold earlier this year to Green Dot, another sketchy prepaid debit card, that’s often used to fleece the elderly. They must be trying to expand into the black community. I imagine the black elderly would be at least as susceptible to film-flammery as their white counterparts, if not more so, due to our willingness to believe in magic.
Russell Simmons’ angel dust-era nickname still adorns his erstwhile line of exploitative financial products, and it’ll be interesting to see if Green Dot keeps it on there. On the one hand, Rush has been accused of forcing a model to give him a blowski while Brett Ratner sat there and watched, but on the other hand the whole point of the RushCard is that it’s named after a black guy. If they do decide to change the name, they might have to bring in another black nominal figurehead. Maybe a woman, for the sake of neoliberalism.
Take it easy on yourself,