After much speculation as to why Oprah Winfrey pulled out of the upcoming Russell Simmons sexual assault documentary, Oprah has admitted that Simmons attempted to pressure her to walk away.
"He did reach out multiple times and attempted to pressure me," Oprah told the New York Times.
The upcoming documentary will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and remains without a title, but was scheduled to air on Apple TV + before Oprah backed off.
Close pal and frequent collaborator, Ava DuVernay, also confirmed that Oprah faced immense pressure from Simmons.
"She's got Simmons on one side pressuring her, and then she's got a film on the other side that she doesn't agree with. So if she walks away from the film, she seems like she's caving to Simmons, and if she stays with the film, then she's putting her name on something that she feels doesn't quite hit the mark."
But Oprah says that Simmons was adamant that one accuser, in particular, Drew Dixon, was lying about their interactions.
"I told him directly in a phone call that I will not be pressured either into or out of, backing this film," she said. "I am only going to do what I believe to be the right thing."