Sidney Lumet

Russell Simmons helped make hip-hop mainstream. Now his legacy is in question amid a new accusation

Russell Simmons helped make hip-hop mainstream. Now his legacy is in question amid a new accusation

Russell Simmons has long been viewed as an elder statesman of hip-hop, a transformational figure who in the 1980s helped push the music into the mainstream and turn it into a lucrative business.

He cashed in on it too, eventually selling his stake in the influential record label he co-founded, Def Jam Recordings, for $100 million, and expanding his ventures to include film and television production, a digital media company and a yoga brand. Along the way, he cultivated an image as a wise mentor known to many as “Uncle Rush.”

Now, however, new allegations of sexual assault have led him to step away from his various projects and imperiled his legacy. Simmons, 60, announced...

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