Three of Russell Simmons' accusers are telling their stories about the hip-hop mogul's alleged sexual harassment in a new HBO Max documentary, On the Record.
The forthcoming streaming service shared the first trailer for the doc on Wednesday, in which Drew Dixon shares how her career aspirations as an up-and-coming hip-hop A&R executive placed her directly in Simmons' path. "I could not have scripted it better," she says of the moment the Def Jam founder offered her a job at his label.
However, soon after is when Simmons began a pattern of alleged harassment that culminated in him allegedly raping her at his Manhattan apartment, Dixon told the The New York Times when she came forward with her story in 2017.
"I didn't tell that many people about what happened with Russell," Dixon shares in the trailer for the new film, which was directed and produced by The Invisible War team Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering and premiered at Sundance in January.
"He just grabbed me...and I'm saying no," she claims. "I was reduced to nothing in that moment. Nothing about anything that makes me who I am mattered."
Simmons has "vehemently" denied all accusations of sexual misconduct against him, saying in a social media statement after the release of the New York Times story that details the accounts of Dixon and three others, "I have never had a sexual encounter that was not consensual or lawful. Ever."
Joined by fellow Simmons accusers Sil Lai Abrams and Sheri Sher in the doc, Dixon details her fears about making public accusations about such a powerful man, particularly as a woman of color.
"He's the king of hip-hop, the black community will hate my guts," she recalls thinking. "I didn't want to let the culture down."
However, she says she eventually came forward after the Times told her there were more accusers who would go on the record if she did. Watch the complete trailer above.
Oprah Winfrey was previously attached to On the Record as an executive producer, however, she departed the project earlier this year over creative differences with the filmmakers. Speaking with The New York Times in January, Winfrey admitted that she'd also been contacted by Simmons, who tried to get her to drop the project.
"He did reach out multiple times and attempted to pressure me," Winfrey told the Times.
The publication's expose claims that Simmons -- and people working for and with the mogul -- have attempted numerous avenues of influence in an effort to halt the documentary.
Winfrey reportedly was told by Simmons that the accusers in the film -- specifically Dixon -- were fabricating their stories. When Winfrey left the project, she explicitly said she believed Dixon, but felt more work needed to be done by the filmmakers in regard to their research and fact checking.
"I told him directly in a phone call that I will not be pressured either into, or out of, backing this film," Winfrey told the Times. "I am only going to do what I believe to be the right thing."
Speaking with CBS This Morning days later, Winfrey reiterated that sentiment, stating, "This is not a victory for Russell."
"I unequivocally say that I did not pull out because of Russell. This is not a victory lap for him. I cannot be silenced by a Russell Simmons after all I've been through," she said.
On the Record is set to premiere on HBO Max on May 27. See more on the allegations against Simmons in the video below.