The details around the sexual assault allegations against Hip-Hop mogul Russell Simmons has always seemingly been obscure—until now.
On Wednesday (Apr 22), HBOMax released the official trailer to the upcoming documentary, On the Record, which tells the story of former Def Jam A&R and music executive Drew Dixon as she grapples with her decision to become one of the first women of color, in the wake of #MeToo, to come forward and publicly name Hip-Hop mogul Russell Simmons of sexual assault.
The documentary chronicles not only Dixon’s story but that of several other accusers including Sil Lai Abrams and Sheri Sher, but it is the inconsistencies in Dixon’s recounts that have left a few insiders scratching their heads–including original executive producer Oprah Winfrey. As previously reported, in January Oprah and Apple TV pulled out of the producing the documentary citing creative differences after Oprah claimed that there weren’t enough stories to put together a cohesive documentary before adding that she believed the women involved.
”This is not a victory for Russell,” Oprah said. “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.”
Winfrey explained it was “a hard decision” to step away from the film because she knew it could look like she was caving to pressure from Simmons, but that before he pressured her, she had expressed concerns to the filmmakers.
“I had said to them, ‘Houston, I think we have a problem here’ because new information had come forward,” Oprah continued. “I don’t care about awards — I just care about getting it right, and I think there’s some inconsistencies in the stories that we need to look at. I wanted the context of the story to be broadened, I wanted more women brought into the story.”
In 2017 when news broke about the allegations of sexual assault, Simmons has vehemently denied the allegations noting that he has never been violent or forced himself on anyone, adding that he’s passed lie detector tests before admitting to being an unconscious playboy and womanizer in the past.
On the Record is scheduled to air on HBOMax on May 27.
Check out the trailer below.