Ousted Grammys head Deborah Dugan has claimed in a bombshell legal filing that its board asked to rehire her predecessor, Neil Portnow, even though, she claims, some members of the board were aware of allegations that he raped a musician.
In papers filed Tuesday, Dugan — who was put on leave last week after an employee alleged Dugan had bullied her — said that the chair of the board of the Recording Academy, which runs the Grammys, told her to hire former CEO Portnow as a consultant for $750,000. Dugan claims she learned of the rape allegations later.
It’s the latest in several rounds of public mudslinging between Dugan and the Academy: Each claims the other cooked up false allegations to save their own skin. The complaint also alleges that Dugan was sexually harassed by the Academy’s general counsel, Joel Katz, and that the misconduct accusations against Dugan are “false” and designed to “malign her reputation.”
The Academy’s interim CEO claimed in a memo that Dugan offered to drop her complaints in return for “millions of dollars,” and the filing says that’s more of the board trying “to destroy Ms. Dugan for the sole reason that she posed a threat to the ‘boys’ club.’ ”
The Grammys are Sunday. Katz and the academy could not immediately be reached for comment.
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