Grammy Ex-Chief Accusations

Grammy Ex-Chief Accusations

In a shocking turn of events, the former head of the organization responsible for the Grammy Awards, Neil Portnow, has been accused of drugging and assaulting a musician in 2018. This incident has sparked a lawsuit against him and has brought back previous criticisms of his behavior and the Academy’s negligence.

The Lawsuit

The New York Times reported that a state lawsuit filed in Manhattan accuses Neil Portnow of battery and the Recording Academy of negligence. The musician, whose name has been kept private to protect her identity, claims that Portnow drugged her and assaulted her. The Academy has stated that they will vigorously defend themselves against these allegations, believing them to be without merit.

The Allegations

The court documents reveal that the female artist met Portnow at a Grammy-related event in New York. He invited her to his hotel room and offered her wine, which she drank. Soon after, she began to feel woozy. Despite wanting to leave, Portnow claimed there were no taxis available. The woman lost consciousness after Portnow made a disturbing comment about thinking about her for a long time.

Throughout the night, the woman alleges that Portnow assaulted her while she was unconscious. The next morning, she still felt the effects of the drugging. She was concerned about Portnow’s power in the industry but was ignored when she reported the incident to Academy officials. Although she filed a police report, law enforcement authorities declined to prosecute at the time.

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Previous Controversies

This accusation against Portnow is not the first time he has faced criticism. In 2019, he stepped down as the head of the Recording Academy after making disparaging comments about women in the industry. He suggested that women should “step up” to gain more recognition, which caused outrage during the #MeToo movement. These comments, along with allegations of the Academy favoring white male artists, led to his departure.

Furthermore, in 2020, Portnow’s replacement, Deborah Dugan, filed a discrimination complaint against the Academy. In her complaint, she included the allegation against Portnow, which he denied. Dugan’s complaint highlighted concerns of harassment, voting irregularities, and misconduct within the organization.


The accusations against Neil Portnow have once again brought attention to the issues of misconduct and negligence within the music industry. It is essential that these allegations are thoroughly investigated, and justice is served for the victim. The Recording Academy must address these concerns and take steps to ensure the safety and well-being of all individuals involved in the industry.

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