The music industry vet is still in disbelief over the accusations pinned against his friend.
Lyor Cohen, Youtube's Head of Music, was invited to deliver a keynote speech during this year's South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Cohen has worn many hats since pursuing a career in the music industry at a young age, beginning as a club promoter, who then eventually became a label head, as well as an entrepreneur.
Cohen's long-gestating tenure in the music industry has also introduced him to a bevy of individuals who have also made an impact on the sounds that have dominated radio stations and playlists alike. Russell Simmons is one of those figures who developed a personal relationship with the Youtube huncho throughout the years.
Cohen took time to specifically address his longtime friend Simmons in his lengthy speech, and did not shy away from calling attention to the widespread sexual misconduct and abuse allegations pinned against the former Def Jam mogul. He begins his sentiment by stating "I want to acknowledge the awful allegations that have been made about Russell. We were roommates and we’ve stayed friends and partners ever since."
Cohen then reveals he "never saw him aggressive or violent with any women. It’s not the Russell I know. I’m deeply troubled with all the allegations, and there’s absolutely no room for this type of behaviour." Simmons has since largely avoided the public eye since these very publication revelations began to surface.