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Lawsuit Alleges Sexual Assault by Former Grammys Head Michael Greene

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Deborah Dugan has filed a lawsuit against the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, accusing its former CEO of sexual harassment and a cover-up. Ms. Dugan’s allegations claim that Neil Portnow, who stepped down as the academy’s chief executive last year, had raped an unnamed female artist. Separately, she accused Ken Ehrlich, a long-time producer of the Grammy Awards, of being inappropriately rough with her, while also asking her to keep their interactions private. The lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, also includes whistle-blower charges against the academy itself, which Ms. Dugan claims retaliated against her after she raised concerns about voting irregularities and sexual harassment at the organization. It comes less than two weeks before the Grammy Awards ceremony, which has been beset by upheaval over accusations of vote-rigging and conflicts of interest. These allegations have caused cracks in the organization’s facade, and the lawsuit adds yet another layer of turmoil to a beleaguered event. It also challenges the reputation of the music industry’s most prestigious institution, the Grammy Awards, and raises troubling questions about the culture and management of the organization. In a statement, the academy said Ms. Dugan’s allegations were completely false, and that she was fired for cause after offering to step down and demanding a $22 million settlement. Nonetheless, the timing of the lawsuit could not be worse for the academy, which has been trying to fend off a series of public relations disasters leading up to the Grammy Awards.

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Photo credit www.nytimes.com

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