Russell Simmons Accuser Slams Oprah For Calling Her By The Wrong Name & Quitting Docu: She Was Abandoning Us
Despite abandoning her position as executive producer of a controversial Russell Simmons documentary, Oprah Winfrey is still in hot water. One of the Def Jam Records founder’s rape accusers, Alexia Norton Jones, told Variety about her experience while participating in the Sundance documentary, On The Record. Alexia Norton Jones detailed that she feels betrayed by Oprah Winfrey’s departure from the film. Alexia Norton Jones also said Oprah Winfrey calling her “Alexia Norton Strong” during her CBS This Morning interview, was the icing on the already distasteful cake.
Alexia Norton Jones said,
“…here’s Oprah Winfrey who is in many ways the second most powerful black woman in America after Michelle Obama. She’s talking about the documentary and she’s giving it shade. And this is after she’s already stepped away from the documentary.Then here it is, casually. I have this other name [Alexia Norton Strong] on TV, spoken by Oprah Winfrey. What was so painful about it is that, what sexual violence is, it is about erasing you. It is about saying you don’t matter. Right in that moment, Oprah is sharing her own story, about what happened to her. She then inserts her pain into our experience about why she’s stepping away. And at the same time, I don’t have a name…She should know better…It reminds me of when you’re trying to seek help for these things, you’re silenced again. It’s not like I’m important to Oprah or Gayle, but Oprah was the executive producer of the project. This is what bothered me.”
She went on to say she felt Oprah’s departure displayed a lack of loyalty:
“When I learned that Oprah had pulled out of the documentary, I don’t even know what kind of words to put on that. I was in shock. It wasn’t that I wasn’t believed. I felt like she built her brand on her story of being abused. And for two decades, people came on her talk show and told their stories of abuse…When she walked away from us as women of color, it was painful because she was abandoning us…I do feel like Oprah hurt us. And she’s too smart a woman not to have known. I just don’t understand where her loyalties were to begin with. She shouldn’t have ever signed up on the project if she couldn’t get to the finish line.”
Alexia says that when Oprah Winfrey dropped her involvement in the doc, several other major outlets left with her. She thinks the lack of resources led to her not being invited to view the doc at Sundance:
“When I had been speaking to one of the producers, I thought I was going to Sundance. That’s what I’d been told all along. But after Oprah and Apple dropped out, what was presented to me was they only had the resources to send the principals. I wanted to come to Sundance and see my story retold. I’m guessing because these are independent filmmakers, where are the resources going to be?”
Lastly, Alexia Norton Jones added:
“I was late to be interviewed for the Russell Simmons documentary. Nobody could find me. When I got in front of the camera, Amy Ziering didn’t really know anything about me because it happened so last minute. I’ve come in at the very end of the film. It’s like they had to fit me into a film that has already been made… I’ve said this for a long time, I had no protectors. And I have to give props to these filmmakers because they made an extraordinary film and a historic film. It’s not an attack on Russell. It tells a story of how black women love black men and how we’ve always protected them and how our role has been to be the nurturer. And how when a black man is shot and he’s unarmed, pieces of us die. We are broken by that.”
Oprah Winfrey has, since, apologized for the name flub via a representative:
“We are so sorry that happened, it was not intentional.”
What do you think about what Alexia Norton Jones had to say? Tell us in the comments.
Written by Miata Shanay