russell simmons
by Brian Lipton
russell simmons
russell simmons / Image by ERIK PENDZICH / REX / SHUTTERSTOCK

National retailer JCPenney has confirmed that it has decided to discontinue selling Argyleculture merchandise in light of the recent allegations of sexual harassment and rape against the line’s creator, music and fashion mogul Russell Simmons. Argyleculture, a line aimed at millennial men, first debuted at JCPenney in the fall of 2016. His other fashion ventures have include Phat Farm and Tantris.

As has been widely reported, Simmons – the co-founder of hip-hop music label Def Jam Records – was accused of sexual assault and harassment by model Keri Claussen Khalighi, an act which he denied in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on November 22. Subsequent to that denial, Simmons was accused of sexual misconduct by award-winning screenwriter Jenny Lumet in a lengthy article also published by the Reporter.

In response to Lumet’s accusations, Simmons wrote: “I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991. I know Jenny and her family and have seen her several times over the years since the evening she described. While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real. While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades, and I sincerely apologize. This is a time of great transition. The voices of the voiceless, those who have been hurt or shamed, deserve and need to be heard. As the corridors of power inevitably make way for a new generation, I don’t want to be a distraction, so I am removing myself from the businesses that I founded. The companies will now be run by a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives who are moving the culture and consciousness forward. I will convert the studio for yogic science into a not-for-profit center of learning and healing. As for me, I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.”