Russell Simmons


J.C. Penney has decided to discontinue selling Russell Simmons’ Argyleculture brand in light of the sexual assault allegations that caused the hip-hop mogul to step down from the helm of his many companies on Thursday.

In a statement to WWD, the Plano, Tex.-based retailer, said: “In light of the recent allegations against Russell Simmons, J.C. Penney has decided to discontinue selling Argyleculture merchandise.”

Last fall, Penney’s took over from Macy’s as the primary distributor of the preppie-inspired urban brand Simmons founded over a decade ago.

The decision came as Simmons, who cofounded Def Jam and went on to start Def Comedy Jams, Phat Farm, Tantris Global Grind and more, released a statement Thursday stating that he would be leaving these businesses.

This follows a guest column by writer Jenny Lumet in the Hollywood Reporter accusing Simmons of making her have sex with him in 1991. Simmons has a different view, but said “feelings of fear and intimidation are real.”

According to Simmons, his companies will now be led by a group of executives, but he didn’t detail who or which companies they would be leading.

“The companies will now be run by a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives who are moving the culture and consciousness forward,” said Simmons. “As for me, I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning, and, above all, to listening.”

A spokeswoman for his ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons, who previously designed the Baby Phat collection and once served as president and creative director of Phat Fashions, declined comment Thursday.

Simmons’ new HBO stand-up series, “All Def Comedy,” was still set to debut this Friday at 10 p.m. though without him or any reference to his name.

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