Alexia Norton-Jones, one of the women who have accused Russell Simmons of sexual misconduct, has revealed that she feels abandoned by Oprah Winfrey. As previously reported, Winfrey announced that she was distancing herself from On The Record, the #MeToo documentary that features some of Simmons' accusers.
In an interview with Variety, Norton-Jones said, “I’m online the other day, and I see a clip on my Twitter account. I see Oprah Winfrey speaking to Gayle King about an interview I’d done with Michelle Miller, which was really terrific. And so, here’s Oprah Winfrey who is in many ways the second most powerful black woman in America after Michelle Obama. She’s talking about the documentary and she’s giving it shade. And this is after she’s already stepped away from the documentary.”
She continued, “Then here it is, casually. 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.”
She then said about Oprah, “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. A few weeks ago, I’m getting messages, “Oprah pulled out.” And I’m like, “What happened?” After Oprah pulled out, everybody’s pulled away from everybody.”
She added, “I do feel like Oprah hurt us. And she’s too smart a woman not to have known. I just don’t understand where her loyalties were to begin with. She shouldn’t have ever signed up on the project if she couldn’t get to the finish line.”