Former Grammy Awards CEO Fires Back With Sexual Harassment, Discrimination Claim Against Recording Academy

In the wake of her abrupt ouster last week, former Recording Academy president and CEO Deborah Dugan is filing a formal discrimination and sexual harassment complaint. The Grammy Awards are just five days away.

Last week, the Grammy Awards fired their recently-hired CEO, Deborah Dugan, on unspecific allegations of misconduct.  This week, Dugan is firing back with a sexual harassment and discrimination suit of her own.

“The complaint that we filed today against the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (the Grammys) highlights tactics reminiscent of those deployed by individuals defending Harvey Weinstein,” Dugan’s legal team asserted.

“As we allege, the attempt by the Recording Academy to impugn the character of Deborah Dugan is a transparent effort to shift the focus away from its own unlawful activity.  This blatant form of retaliation in corporate America is all too common, even post #MeToo, and we will utilize all lawful means necessary to ensure that those responsible are held accountable for their actions.”

The hard-hitting complaint also attacks another ex-CEO, Neil Portnow.

Portnow exited the organization after publicly urging women to ‘step up’ if they wanted to win more awards.  That cost him his job, though Dugan’s attorneys allege far more egregious behavior.  The complaint states that Portnow “allegedly raped a female recording artist, which was, upon information and belief, the real reason his contract was not renewed.”

Dugan also alleges that she was asked to offer Portnow a $750,000 contract with the Recording Academy, despite his dismissal.

Beyond that, Dugan’s complaint references “egregious conflicts of interest, improper self-dealing by Board members and voting irregularities with respect to nominations for Grammy Awards, all made possible by the ‘boys’ club’ mentality and approach to governance at the Academy.”

So far, the Recording Academy has not responded.  But just moments ago, interim CEO Harvey Mason, Jr. accused Dugan of attempting to extort the Academy for millions of dollars.

The Grammy Awards are airing in five days.

Source: Digital Music News

Yoel Molina Law

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