Neil Portnow, the ex-Leader of the Recording Academy, who oversaw Grammy Awards, is now subject to a lawsuit in Manhattan addressing charges of alleged sexual assault, discloses Naija News.
A female musician alleges that Portnow had drugged and sexually assaulted her back in 2018. The Academy is also blamed for negligence in the lawsuit.
Notably, Portnow stepped down from his position in 2019 after provoking controversy with remarks offensive to women.
However, as per The New York Times, the Recording Academy asserts its intention to “enthusiastically guard itself against these accusations in the litigation.”
“We persistently affirm these claims are baseless,” stated the report.
The identity of the woman involved in the lawsuit was kept undisclosed to safeguard her privacy.
Portnow’s representative’s response regarding AFP’s plea for a statement was reportedly uncertain. Nonetheless, he outrightly rejected the accusations in the Times article.
Evidently, the claimant in the new court records presented in the Times article says she met Portnow at an event related to the Grammys in New York, the venue of the award function in 2018.
According to the woman, Portnow asked her over to his hotel room and served her wine. She claims to have felt disorientated after consuming it. The lawsuit alleges that Portnow refrained from consuming alcohol himself.
Upon her expression of leaving, the woman alleges that Portnow declared no availability of cabs. Post his statement “I’ve been contemplating you for some time,” she apparently blacked out.
The lawsuit states that she spent the night awakening to feeling violated by Portnow and continued to feel disoriented the following morning.
The report emphasizes that despite her initial fear of his influence, the woman courageously shared her experience with Academy officials, who apparently dismissed her claims. The lawsuit evidence illustrates that she officially filed a complaint against Portnow, however, unfortunately, no charges were indicated by the law enforcement agencies at that time.
The accusation was first highlighted in 2020 when Deborah Dugan, Portnow’s successor as the Chief of the Recording Academy, lodged a comprehensive discrimination complaint against the parent organization. Dugan alleged in her extensive 44-page document that she faced suspension after voicing concerns about sexual harassment, voting inconsistencies, and other inappropriate behaviors within the significant music establishment.
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In Dugan’s report, she mentioned the rape allegation, which Portnow instantly denied. Moreover, Portnow’s scandalous 2018 remark urging women to “safeguard themselves” at the peak of the #MeToo movement intensified the critique that the Academy was actively favoring white male artists.
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