Russell Simmons rape accuser is now blasting Oprah Winfrey for “abandoning us” after the media mogul pulled out as an executive producer of the documentary just weeks before it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Alexia Norton Jones, who is the featured woman in the documentary “On the Record,” said her pain was compounded exponentially because Winfrey also said her name wrong during her explanation on “CBS This Morning” as to why she divorced herself from the docu-series.
“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,” Jones said, according to Variety. “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.”
Jones said her shock was exacerbated because she learned about Winfrey’s withdrawal from “On the Record” via social media.
“When she walked away from us as women of color, it was painful because she was abandoning us. I had always felt a bond with Oprah. This has always been the most confusing, isolating, painful part of this whole documentary,” she said according to Variety. “A few weeks ago, I’m getting (Twitter) messages, ‘Oprah pulled out.’ And I’m like, ‘What happened?’ After Oprah pulled out, everybody’s pulled away from everybody.”
Jones said that being raped is tantamount to having your identity stolen. Having her name mispronounced by Winfrey on live TV made her feel further invisible, she said.
“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,” Jones said. “She should know better.”
Flip the page to see Winfrey’s explanation as to why she pulled out of the Russell Simmons’ documentary “On the Record.”