David Canfield
November 30, 2017 AT 01:33 PM EST

Screenwriter Jenny Lumet on Thursday accused Russell Simmons of sexually violating her.

Lumet, who’s best known for scribing the Jonathan Demme film Rachel Getting Married and is the daughter of filmmaker Sidney Lumet, alleged in an essay for The Hollywood Reporter that the Def Jam founder coerced her into having sex in 1991, years after they met. She claims that Simmons offered her a ride home from a restaurant, refused to take her home, had the doors locked in a vehicle operated by his driver, and took her to his apartment.

“You didn’t punch me, drag me or verbally threaten me,” she wrote, describing their arrival at his residence. “You used your size to maneuver me, quickly, into the elevator. I said ‘Wait. Wait.’ I felt dread. I was very, very sad. I didn’t know if the driver was a further threat, or an ally. I was both relieved and terrified when he did not get into the elevator. Alone in the elevator, you pressed me into the corner with your body, your hands and your mouth.”

Lumet wrote that she later “did what I was told,” adding: “There was penetration. At one point you were only semi-erect and appeared frustrated. Angry? I remember being afraid that you would deem that my fault and become violent. I did not know if you were angry, but I was afraid that you were.”

The screenwriter said she felt compelled to share her story after learning about recent sexual misconduct scandals. “I never told anyone this story until October 27th of this year (after the Harvey Weinstein story was in the news, but weeks before the first public claims were made against you), when I told a girlfriend from childhood,” she explained.

In a statement published by THR and provided to Entertainment Weekly, Simmons apologized but noted that he had a different “memory” of his and Lumet’s encounter. “I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991,” he said. “I know Jenny and her family and have seen her several times over the years since the evening she described. While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real. While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize.”

Simmons added that he was stepping down from the companies he founded because he doesn’t want to be a “distraction.” “The companies will now be run by a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives who are moving the culture and consciousness forward,” Simmons concluded. “I will convert the studio for yogic science into a not-for-profit center of learning and healing. As for me, I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.”

Keri Claussen Khalighi, a model, previously alleged that Simmons forced her to have sex. Simmons told the Los Angeles Times that “everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation.”

Another woman, Tanya Reid, claims Simmons pressured her to participate in sexual acts with director Brett Ratner, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault and harassment. (Ratner has denied the allegations.) In a statement about Reid’s allegations, Simmons told the Los Angeles Times, “I mean no disrespect to her when I say I do not recall a conversation with a hotel front desk clerk over a quarter of a century ago.”

Lumet explained in her essay that she felt reluctant to come forward because of her race and the fact that Simmons has daughters of his own. “There is so much guilt, and so much shame,” she wrote. “There is an excruciating internal reckoning. As a woman of color, I cannot express how wrenching it is to write this about a successful man of color. Again, shame about who I was years ago, choices made years ago. In this very moment, I feel a pang to protect your daughters. I don’t think you are inclined to protect mine.”

Read Simmons’ complete statement below:

I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991. I know Jenny and her family and have seen her several times over the years since the evening she described. While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real. While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize.

This is a time of great transition. The voices of the voiceless, those who have been hurt or shamed, deserve and need to be heard. As the corridors of power inevitably make way for a new generation, I don’t want to be a distraction so I am removing myself from the businesses that I founded. The companies will now be run by a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives who are moving the culture and consciousness forward. I will convert the studio for yogic science into a not-for-profit center of learning and healing. As for me, I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.

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