A musician has filed a lawsuit against former Grammy Awards CEO Neil Portnow, alleging that he sexually assaulted her in 2018.
The woman, whose name has not been released, but who is described as an internationally famous musician who played at Carnegie Hall, claims in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that Portnow assaulted her when they were dating five years ago, according to the New York Post.
The woman filed her lawsuit in the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan under the Adult Survivors Act.
The suit accuses Neil Portnow, who stepped down as chief executive of the Recording Academy in 2019, of sexual battery, and accuses the Recording Academy — the nonprofit group behind the Grammys — of negligence. https://t.co/Rdn6HGMlwT
— New York Times Music (@nytimesmusic) November 9, 2023
The woman claims that she met with Portnow and drank some liquor he offered, but she soon lost consciousness. She alleges that the executive then assaulted her when she was knocked out.
Portnow has flatly denied the accusations. He also alleges that the woman tried to shake him down for money and said her lawsuit is a result of his “refusal to comply with the Plaintiff’s outrageous demands for money and assistance in obtaining a residence visa for her.”
The woman also alleges that she contacted the Grammy organization, but they did nothing about her allegations.
For its part, the Academy sided with Portnow and said, “We continue to believe the claims to be without merit and intend to vigorously defend the Academy in this lawsuit.”
These allegations have been known since 2020 and were leveled after Portnow left his position at the Academy in 2019.
The lawsuit was brought under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which allows purported victims of sexual harassment and assault to sue their accused attackers no matter how far back their claims of abuse go. The state gave victims a one-year window to sue after the law was enacted that waives the usual statute of limitations on sex crimes.