Just days before the 62nd Grammy Awards, former Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan, who was ousted from the post this month, has sued the academy alleging she was sexually harassed by the general counsel to the academy.
Rolling Stone reports that Dugan alleges in the 46-page complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that she was put on administrative leave for raising concerns about developments at the organization.
“Dugan claims her firing was based on a December 22nd, 2019 e-mail she sent to HR that included sexual harassment complaints against Joel Katz — the Academy’s general counsel and a former member and chair of the Academy’s Board of Trustees — whom she accused of making suggestive remarks and trying to kiss her,” Rolling Stone reports.
Dugan’s email also reportedly detailed “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.”
The report adds: “Additionally, the e-mail contained an accusation against former Grammys CEO Neil Portnow: Dugan said that she was encouraged to hire Portnow as a consultant for $750,000 a year, but was not told that, at the time, there was an outstanding sexual harassment claim against her predecessor. The complaint even alleges that it was not Portnow’s infamous women need to ‘step up’ comments that got him fired from the Grammys, but that he ‘allegedly raped a female recording artist, which was, upon information and belief, the real reason his contract was not renewed.’”