A female musician has accused former Grammy Awards head, Neil Portnow, of drugging and raping her in 2018. The lawsuit also implicates the Academy, citing negligence. Portnow, who resigned in 2019 amid derogatory remarks about women, denies the allegations, while the Recording Academy vows to defend itself.
The lawsuit claims the woman met Portnow at a Grammy event in New York, where he assaulted her in his hotel room despite her objections. Despite reporting the incident to Academy officials, her concerns were allegedly disregarded. These accusations resurfaced in 2020 when Portnow’s successor, Deborah Dugan, filed a discrimination complaint against the Academy, shedding light on issues of sexual harassment and voting irregularities. Portnow’s alleged assault adds to the scrutiny surrounding the Grammy Awards’ treatment of women and minority artists.