Musician takes Legal Action, Alleges Rape Against Former Grammy’s Head Neil Portnow in a Lawsuit

todayNovember 11, 2023 3

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The former Grammy Awards chief executive Neil Portnow is under hostility for severe accusations.

A lawsuit was filed on Wednesday accusing the Recording Academy of negligence and former Grammy Awards chief executive Neil Portnow of sexual assault in 2018.

Under the Adult Survivors Act, the unnamed woman filed the lawsuit in Manhattan’s New York Supreme Court. The law, which was passed the previous year, extended the time frame within which victims of sexual assault could file their claims past the state’s regular deadlines.

The woman, who was identified in the lawsuit as a well-known musician who had performed at Carnegie Hall, claimed to have met Portnow early in 2018 and to have arranged to meet with him for an interview at his New York City hotel later that year. She claimed that after giving her something to drink during the meeting that caused her to occasionally lose consciousness, he attacked her.

Neil Portnow’s spokesperson denied accusations as “completely false”

The allegations against Portnow, who resigned as CEO in 2019, were described as “wholly false” and “certainly motivated by Mr. Portnow’s refusal to comply with the Plaintiff’s outrageous demands for money and assistance in obtaining a residence visa for her” in an email from a representative for the CEO, who stepped down in 2019.

According to the lawsuit, the woman had contacted the academy regarding Portnow towards the end of 2018. “We continue to believe the claims to be without merit and intend to vigorously defend the Academy in this lawsuit,” the academy stated in a statement.

The accusation first surfaced in 2020 as part of a massive lawsuit brought by Deborah Dugan, Portnow’s successor, following her unexpected leave of absence and eventual termination after only eight months on the job. Portnow referred to the claims as “ludicrous, and untrue” at the time.

The lawsuit against Neil Portnow was filed in Manhattan’s New York Supreme Court. (Credits: NME)

The plaintiff’s accusation of Neil Portnow

Neil Portnow only does lip service to supporting women while doing a disservice to every oppressed woman and musician, according to the plaintiff’s attorney Jeffrey R. Anderson. The Times reports that Anderson stressed how the problem goes beyond Portnow and the Recording Academy, illuminating the wider entertainment and music industry culture and its inconsistent views on assault and abuse.

Anderson’s remark alludes to Portnow’s contentious remarks made during that year’s Grammy Awards when he said—in response to a reporter from Variety—that female musicians and executives had to “step up” in order to succeed in the music business.

How did the plaintiff meet Neil Portnow?

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff met Portnow at an Academy event in January 2018, the last time the Grammy Awards were hosted in New York. She claims he told her he would be going back to New York in the spring and that he had invited her to the ceremony. That June, the two met at his hotel.

According to the lawsuit, Portnow met her in the lobby and escorted her to his room, where he presented her with Grammy mementos and extended an invitation for a glass of wine.

She claims in the suit that she “began to feel woozy” after drinking but he did not. He goes on, saying there were no taxis available when she told him she wanted to leave.

Before the woman passed out, Portnow allegedly said to her, “I have been thinking about you for a very long time,” according to the lawsuit’s allegations. According to the lawsuit, she repeatedly lost consciousness during the course of the alleged sexual assault by Portnow during the night. The lawsuit claims that Portnow disregarded the woman’s repeated attempts to get in touch with him.

The lawsuit notably contains a screenshot of an email sent by Portnow’s attorney to the woman in November 2018. In it, the attorney says, “Please know that I have always respected you in every way at all times, both professionally and personally.”

You expressed interest in and belief in the teachings of the Buddha, and I came across a saying that seems to speak to you now: “One word that brings peace is better than a thousand hollow ones.”

The lawsuit claims that even though the district attorney’s office had decided not to press charges, the woman later submitted a police report naming Portnow.

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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