Oprah Winfrey’s book, The Wisdom of Sundays, is filled with conversations Winfrey had with inspiring people during her Super Soul Sunday, a TV series on the OWN network. The already-released version which debuted in October 2017 includes passages from Russell Simmons regarding meditation, wealth, and abundance, but those excerpts will be deleted in the upcoming version of the book which is scheduled to be released this month.
According to Marlena Bittner, a spokeswoman for Flatiron Books, the decision to remove Simmons’ contributions was made jointly between Winfrey and the publisher. Russell Simmons has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct and is being sued for $5 million by Jennifer Jarosik, a woman who alleges that the mogul raped her in Los Angeles in 2016. Ms. Jarosik has stated that she intends to file criminal charges against Simmons.
This decision hasn’t earned Winfrey any props from her fans who still demand that she speak out against Harvey Weinstein. Even though she’s been an advocate of the #MeToo movement, the former Queen of Daytime Television has received backlash on Twitter from those claiming that she is a hypocrite for remaining quiet about the allegations against Weinstein.
But Winfrey’s book isn’t the only one removing nuggets of wisdom from Simmons from its pages. Rise and Grind by Shark Tank‘s Daymond John has also deleted Simmons’ contributions. According to John, the removal came at the request of the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings himself as he didn’t want his words to distract from the motivational message of the book. Even though Simmons has denied what he calls “horrific accusations,” he has stepped down from all of his companies. Though Winfrey has not spoken about the decision to remove Simmons’ conversations from The Wisdom of Sundays, Daymond John said it was a tough decision for him as he had admired Simmons for years and saw him as a successful person.
The New York Police Department opened a criminal investigation against Russell Simmons in December 2017 even though it has not received any direct complaints from women. To date, at least 12 women have accused Simmons of sexual misconduct, six of whom have accused him of rape.