Neil Portnow. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
A woman filed a lawsuit Wednesday against former Grammy Awards CEO Neil Portnow, alleging sexual assault in 2018 and the Recording Academy for negligence.
The woman, who has not been named, filed the lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Manhattan Adult Survivors Act. The measure, passed last year, created a temporary window for those making sexual assault allegations to file within the state’s usual deadline.
In the lawsuit, the woman, described as an internationally known musician who once played at Carnegie Hall, said she met Portnow in early 2018 and set up a meeting to interview him at his hotel in New York City later that year. At the meeting he gave her something to drink, causing her to lose consciousness, after which he began assaulting her.
A spokesman for Portnow, who stepped down as CEO in 2019, said in an email that the allegations were „absolutely false” and „undoubtedly motivated by Mr. Portnow’s refusal to comply with Plaintiff’s outrageous demands for assistance with money and housing.” Her visa.”
The woman said in the lawsuit that she approached the Academy in late 2018 about Portnow. The Academy said in a statement, „We continue to believe the claims are without merit and intend to vigorously defend the Academy in this case.”
Word of the allegations first emerged in 2020 after Portnow resigned. His successor, Deborah Duggan, was fired a few months later and spoke about the accusation in a complaint against the academy.