Russell Simmons, Tantris Photo by Getty Images/Charley Gallay.
Russell Simmons launched Tantris in late 2016. The brand's West Hollywood, California, facility offers hot yoga classes and a retail shop that sells branded athleisure apparel.

Russell Simmons Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Steps Away from Yoga Brand

Music mogul and Tantris yoga studio founder Russell Simmons said a sexual misconduct allegation against him has led him to step down from his many businesses and convert his yoga business Tantris into "a not-for-profit center of learning and healing."

Amid accusations of sexual misconduct, music mogul Russell Simmons announced in a Nov. 30 statement that he is stepping down from his companies, including yoga-lifestyle brand Tantris.

Hollywood screenwriter Jenny Lumet accused Simmons in a guest column published by The Hollywood Reporter of forcing her to have sex with him in 1991.

"There is so much guilt, and so much shame," Lumet wrote in the column. "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."

Simmons, the founder of record label Def Jam Recordings, clothing company Phat Farm and online comedy network All Def Digital, responded to the accusations in a statement to CNN.

"I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet's recollection about our night together in 1991," Simmons said. "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.

"I don't want to be a distraction so I am removing myself from the businesses that I founded," he continued. "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."

Simmons established Tantris in November 2016. The brand's West Hollywood, California, facility offers hot yoga classes and a retail shop that sells branded athleisure apparel, created through a partnership with New York-based activewear company The Moret Group.

As of Dec. 5, Tantris' website does not reflect Simmons' announcement.

"I wanted to open a space where I can share what is a part of me and what has inspired me for the past two decades," Simmons said of Tantris last year in a media release. "The goal is to create an educational environment for the wellness community, as well as attract and influence a new audience to pursue a more conscious lifestyle."

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