Former Epic Records and Island Def Jam Music Group CEO L.A. Reid has been hit with a sexual assault lawsuit filed by Drew Dixon.
As reported by Reuters, Dixon has accused the 67-year-old music executive of sexually assaulting and sexually harassing her when she worked for him during his tenure as president and CEO of Arista Records over two decades ago. She claimed that Reid cut her career in the music industry short after he made unwanted advances on her, including two alleged assaults in 2001. She is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Dixon sued Reid under New York state’s Adult Survivors Act. She first accused Reid of improper behavior and sexual misconduct in December 2017.
The 53-year-old Dixon said she worked with Arista’s founder Clive Davis, eventually becoming the vice president of A&R at the company. When Davis departed the company, he was replaced by Reid. In the lawsuit, she said that her relationship with Reid was professional but that changed “almost immediately” when he became president of Arista in 2000. She said he began “sexualizing and harassing” her.
The first alleged assault happened in January 2001 on a private plane trip to Puerto Rico as part of an Arista company retreat. Dixon claims that he played with her hair, kissed her, and penetrated her without consent during the plane trip. Months later, during a ride home in New York, he allegedly nonconsensually groped, kissed, and penetrated her again.
Per The New York Times, she repeatedly rejected his unwanted advances and wanted to avoid him as much as possible. He apparently “retaliated against her by embarrassing her in front of others or otherwise being curt and unprofessional.” She also alleged that he punished artists she personally signed or wanted to sign to the label.
“Promotional and recording budgets were suddenly reduced dramatically or frozen altogether. Song demos and artist auditions were flatly rejected,” she said. “It was very clear that I was being punished because I would not comply.”