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Oprah Winfrey says she ‘cannot be silenced’ by Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons discusses the documentary Romeo Is Bleeding (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for Steed Media Service)

Russell Simmons discusses the documentary Romeo Is Bleeding. (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for Steed Media Service)

Oprah Winfrey sounded off on Russell Simmons and debunked rumors that she divorced herself from the upcoming documentary about his rape accusers because she was punked or intimidated.

“This is not a victory for Russell, and I unequivocally say that I did not pull out because of Russell,” the 65-year-old billionaire network owner told “CBS This Morning.”

“This is not a victory lap for him. I cannot be silenced by a Russell Simmons after all I’ve been through … I stand with the women. I support the women. And I do hope people will see the film.”

Earlier this month, just weeks before the controversial documentary is to make its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in suburban Salt Lake City, Winfrey pulled out as executive producer. She said the docuseries is not a finished product and that the producers were rushing it unnecessarily.

“In all experiences of my life, and particularly when I’m in a crisis, the only question for me is, ‘What is the right thing to do … for me?’” Winfrey told the CBS hosts about why she quit.

“Before the public pressure had started, before Russell had gone with his Instagram, I had gone to the filmmakers, and I had said to them, ‘Houston, I think we have a problem here,’ … I said, ‘I think we need to pull out of Sundance, and if we can’t pull out of Sundance, I’m going to have to take my name off. I don’t want to have to take my name off because it’s going to be a big hullabaloo.’”