Former Grammy CEO Sued For Alleged Sexual Assault

Pre-GRAMMY Gala & GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons Honoring Julie Greenwald & Craig Kallman - Arrivals
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 04: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Neil Portnow attends the Pre-GRAMMY Gala & GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons Honoring Julie Greenwald & Craig Kallman at The Beverly Hilton on February 04, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

OAN’s Abril Elfi 
5:29 PM – Thursday, November 9, 2023

A woman has recently filed a lawsuit against former Grammy Awards CEO Neil Portnow for allegedly drugging and raping her.


The woman anonymously filed the lawsuit against Portnow alleging that he drugged and raped her in a New York hotel back in 2018. She is also suing the Academy, citing “negligence.”

According to reports, the lawsuit was filed by an unidentified woman, who asked to remain anonymous, in New York State Supreme Court on Wednesday. She described herself as an “instrumentalist who is not from the United States and has performed at Carnegie Hall.” 

Jeffrey R. Anderson, the prosecutor’s attorney, spoke to reporters.

“[Portnow] does a disservice to every woman and every musician who is being oppressed by him and others. This is not just about Neil Portnow and not just about the Recording Academy, but about the culture in the music and entertainment industry and its doublespeak about rape and abuse,” Anderson said.

The Academy also issued a statement claiming that they “believe the claims to be without merit and intend to vigorously defend the Academy in this lawsuit.”

Portnow’s representative has also referred to the allegations as “completely false.” He released his own statement claiming that the accusations are a “product of the Plaintiff’s imagination and undoubtedly motivated by Mr. Portnow’s refusal to comply with the Plaintiff’s outrageous demands for money and assistance in obtaining a residence visa for her.”

The lawsuit claims that after the two met at an Academy event in January 2018, Portnow and her met again in June of the same year at the Kitano Hotel in Manhattan. 

The former director of the school allegedly handed the woman a glass of wine, but she claims that he did not drink any wine himself. Soon after, the accuser “began to feel woozy.”

The lawsuit also alleges that Portnow informed the woman, “I have been thinking about you for a very long time” and told her there were no cabs available to take her home before she passed out.

Portnow then allegedly raped the complainant that night, and she even woke up “many times” and discovered him attacking her. 

The lawsuit continues to describe how Portnow allegedly disregarded the accuser’s many attempts to reach him after the assault, and the accuser later filed a police complaint naming her attacker. However, the district attorney’s office chose not to charge him.

The allegations first came to light after Portnow’s successor claimed in 2020 that he left the company after the incident occured in 2018.

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