Oprah Winfrey has removed Russell Simmons’ contribution from her spiritual advice book following the numerous allegations of rape and sexual misconduct made against him. Marlena Bittner, a spokeswoman for Oprah's publisher Flatiron Books, confirmed the news to the New York Times.
Oprah’s book, The Wisdom of Sundays, is composed of selections between Oprah and her guests on the OWN show Super Soul Sunday, as well as excerpts from motivational speakers like Deepak Chopra and Elizabeth Gilbert. Simmons was included in the book in passages talking about how meditation has positively affected his life, in addition to thoughts about abundance and wealth. The book has already been published—and has remained on best-seller lists since its publication in 2017—but Simmons will not be included in a new edition set for a February release.
Bittner also said that the decision to remove Simmons was made by Oprah and the publisher together, but she did not disclose when the decision was made. Oprah—a prominent advocate for Time’s Up—writes about her own experiences as a victim of harassment in the book.
The Wisdom of Sundays isn’t the only book that has removed Simmons from its pages following the accusations made against him. Shark Tank judge and streetwear entrepreneur Daymond John also decided to remove Simmons' advice from his upcoming self-help book, Rise & Grind. However, as John revealed on The Wendy Williams Show last week, Simmons himself advised John to remove his passage so that it wouldn’t “distract” from its message. Nevertheless, John said it was a “hard decision to take him out of the book.”
“Russell is somebody that I’ve admired for years,” he said. “I saw him as a successful person.”
Simmons, 60, has faced a range of sexual misconduct allegations, including rape, by at least nine women. He has repeatedly denied the claims, and even made elaborate plans to defend himself. He later abandoned them and ultimately stepped down from his businesses last November after a second sexual assault allegation.