Oprah Winfrey says hip hop mogul Russell Simmons pressured her to drop her support for a documentary about women who have accused him of sexual misconduct, The New York Times reports. A week after withdrawing as executive producer of the untitled film over what she described as creative differences, Winfrey told the Times that Simmons had contacted her to dispute the credibility of one of the accusers featured in the film. “He did reach out multiple times and attempted to pressure me,” Winfrey was quoted as saying. She said her decision to pull out of the project was not prompted by Simmons' objections, but by her belief that more work needed to be done on the film and that it was being rushed to completion to premiere at Sundance. “I told him directly in a phone call that I will not be pressured either into, or out of, backing this film. I am only going to do what I believe to be the right thing,” she said. Winfrey’s withdrawal from the project led to it losing its distributor, Apple TV Plus, and prompted the Time’s Up campaign to issue a statement in support of the women featured in the documentary.
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