Former Grammys boss denies successor’s claim that he was forced out for raping a singer
The former head of the Recording Academy has denied his successor’s allegations that he was forced out for raping a singer.
Neil Portnow, the former head of the academy, which handles the Grammy Awards, responded to claims made by Deborah Dugan.
Dugan herself was placed on administrative leave last week over an allegation of misconduct. The allegation has since been reported to centre around workplace bullying. Dugan has disputed the claims and actions against her.
On Tuesday, Dugan filed an explosive complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dugan alleges in the complaint that Portnow was accused of raping a female performer – and that the claim led to his contract not being renewed.
Portnow has now denied the allegation in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, calling it “ludicrous and untrue”.
“An in-depth independent investigation by experienced and highly regarded lawyers was conducted and I was completely exonerated. There was no basis for the allegations and once again I deny them unequivocally,” he added
Portnow stepped down from the Recording Academy in 2019, not long after controversial comments in which he said female artists need to “step up” to gain more recognition in the music industry.
In her complaint, Dugan also alleged she was sexually harassed by Joel Katz, the Academy’s general counsel. Katz’s attorney said in a statement that his client ”categorically and emphatically denies” Dugan’s claims.