Former Grammy Chief Neil Portnow Faces Sexual Assault Lawsuit Amid Recording Academy Controversy

Former Grammy Awards Head Faces Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Accusations Unveiled:

Neil Portnow, former head of the Grammy Awards, is facing a lawsuit filed in a New York state court by a member of the Recording Academy.

The unnamed woman alleges that Portnow drugged and raped her in a New York hotel in 2018.

The lawsuit claims that the Recording Academy played a role in “aiding and abetting” the assault to protect their reputations and silence the victim and other women in the music industry.

Detailed Allegations and Encounter:

Encounter at Grammy Awards Event:

The woman, described as a musician with a background of performing at Carnegie Hall and a former voting member of the Recording Academy, recounts meeting Portnow at an event for the 60th Grammy Awards in January 2018.

Subsequently, she requested an interview with Portnow for her magazine in May of the same year while in New York.

Hotel Room Interview Turns Assault:

According to the lawsuit, Portnow invited her to his hotel room for the interview, where he provided her with a toothbrush/toothpaste set, Grammy merchandise, and a drink that allegedly left her “disoriented and incapacitated.”

The woman accuses Portnow of raping her while she was in and out of consciousness.

Unresponsive Academy:

The musician claims that she reported the assault to the Recording Academy via email in 2018, but the Academy never conducted an interview regarding the allegations.

The lawsuit points to the Recording Academy’s negligent hiring, supervision, and retention.

Denials and Counterclaims:

Portnow’s Spokesperson Response:

A spokesperson for Portnow denies the allegations, branding them as “completely false.”

The spokesperson suggests that the claims are motivated by Portnow’s refusal to comply with the plaintiff’s demands for money and assistance in obtaining a residence visa.

Recording Academy’s Stance:

In response, the Recording Academy maintains that they believe the claims to be without merit and express their intention to vigorously defend against the lawsuit.

Context and Previous Allegations:

Previous Disclosures and Legal History:

This isn’t the first time Portnow has faced accusations. In 2020, a discrimination complaint by Deborah Dugan, Portnow’s successor, revealed allegations of the 2018 assault.

Dugan claimed that despite knowledge of the assault, the Recording Academy asked her to rehire Portnow as a consultant, an offer she declined.

The lawsuit brings renewed attention to the serious issue of sexual assault within the entertainment industry, emphasizing the complexities of addressing such allegations and the importance of holding individuals and organizations accountable.

Legal Battles and Industry Scrutiny:

The legal history involving Portnow, coupled with the broader #MeToo movement, underscores the ongoing scrutiny of the music industry and the efforts to bring allegations of misconduct to light.

This case adds another layer to the ongoing conversation about accountability and the treatment of survivors within the entertainment world.

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