January 22, 2020, 11:18 am CST
The ousted CEO of the Grammys alignment has accused a Greenberg Traurig actor of animal aggravation in a allegation of bigotry filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Deborah Dugan, the above CEO and admiral of the Recording Academy, formally the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, claims that she was sexually addled by Joel Katz, the founding administrator of Greenberg Traurig’s all-around ball and media practice. Katz is accepted admonition to the academy and a above administrator of its lath of trustees.
Dugan says Katz declared her “baby,” told her that she was pretty, and approved to kiss her afterwards she had fabricated it bright that she was not absorbed in his advances.
Dugan says in the Jan. 21 allegation of bigotry that she was placed on leave Jan. 16, a little added than three weeks afterwards she complained to animal assets about Katz and a “boy’s club” mentality. That atmosphere fabricated accessible “improper self-dealing by lath associates and voting irregularities” in Grammy nominations, Dugan says.
Dugan additionally alleges that she was paid beneath than her predecessor, Neil Portnow, and he larboard afterwards he was accused of raping a changeable recording artist. The academy lath nonetheless recommended advantageous $750,000 to Portnow as a consultant, which Dugan angry down.
The Recorder, Law360 and the New York Times are amid publications accoutrement the allegations.
The academy lath had abhorrent Dugan’s leave on a complaint lodged adjoin her by a above controlling abettor to Dugan’s macho predecessor. The agent declared that Dugan had created a baneful ambiance and affianced in blowing conduct.
Dugan says the absolute acumen for her leave was backfire for her complaint. She additionally denies the academy’s altercation that she had accepted a $22 actor settlement.
Dugan is a above recording industry controlling and a above advocate with the now asleep law close Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon. Her best contempo position was CEO of a nonprofit angry AIDS.
In her allegation of discrimination, Dugan says Katz arrive her to accept banquet with him in May 2019 in beforehand of her alpha assignment at the academy.
At the dinner, Katz “chose a actual big-ticket restaurant and ordered an outrageously big-ticket canteen of wine,” the bigotry allegation says. Throughout the dinner, Katz “acted acutely inappropriately,” according to the charge.
Katz again referred to Dugan as “baby” and told her assorted times that she was “very pretty,” Dugan alleges. He told Dugan that he was abandoned and had abounding homes, and he appropriate that they absorb time calm at those homes, according to the bigotry charge.
Dugan fabricated it bright that she wasn’t interested, but Katz nonetheless approved to kiss her back banquet ended, the allegation alleges. “Ms. Dugan bound angry away, repulsed,” the allegation says.
Katz connected calling Dugan “baby” and cogent that her she was appealing in conversations afterwards the dinner, the complaint alleges.
Dugan says Katz and his law close are paid “an absonant bulk of money by the academy.” Katz is alone paid $250,000 per year additional agreement of costs aloof to be on alarm for acknowledged advice, Dugan says. In addition, Katz and Greenberg Traurig “are paid ample sums” on a transactional basis, she alleges.
She says the law close billed added than $15 actor “in acknowledged assignment over a aeon of alone a few years,” citation account letters as the antecedent of the information.
Dugan had recommended hiring an centralized advocate to handle abundant of the assignment performed by Greenberg Traurig and addition alfresco law firm, but the lath instead absitively to access the bulk of money paid to Katz and a accomplice of the added firm, Dugan said.
Richard Rosenbaum, Greenberg Traurig controlling chairman, said in a account that Katz is “legendary in the music industry,” and he helped the academy “achieve ahead aberrant business results.”
“The claimed allegations afresh fabricated were not ahead accepted to us and, if true, would of advance affront our ability and values,” said the account provided to the ABA Journal. “But our ethics additionally crave a abounding and fair analysis afore abstracts are reached. We accept this analysis is actuality conducted by the academy and anticipate the results.”
A advocate for Katz, Howard Weitzman, told the New York Times in a account that Dugan’s allegations of aggravation and her description of their banquet “are false, and Mr. Katz actually and absolutely denies her adaptation of that evening.”
Dugan is represented by Wigdor attorneys Douglas Wigdor and Michael J. Willemin.
In a statement, the attorneys say the complaint they filed for Dugan “highlights approach evocative of those deployed by individuals arresting Harvey Weinstein. As we allege, the attack by the Recording Academy to assail the appearance of Deborah Dugan is a cellophane accomplishment to about-face the focus abroad from its own actionable activity. This arrant anatomy of backfire in accumulated America is all too common, alike column #MeToo, and we will advance all allowable agency all-important to ensure that those amenable are captivated answerable for their actions.”
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