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L.A. Reid has been accused of sexual assault in a new lawsuit, the New York Times reports. Reid, a music executive who helped propel the careers of Usher, Justin Bieber, and Rihanna as head of head of Arista Records, Epic and Def Jam Records, is being sued by a former colleague at Arista where he worked from 1989-2004.
Drew Dixon started working at Arista in 2000. She claims Reid that Reid, who was chief executive of the label at the time, derailed her career after she declined his advances. Dixon includes allegations of two alleged sexual assaults from 2001. She is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. Reid nor his representatives are yet to comment on the lawsuit.
Dixon says Reid’s behavior towards her while she worked at Arista was “sexualizing and harassing.” This includes him kissing her and penetrating her without consent on a private jet during a company trip and a second alleged assault which occurred several months later after an event in New York. “It was very clear that I was being punished because I would not comply,” she told the Times. She claims Reid declined her attempt to sign John Legend to the label, something she believes was linked to her spurning his advances.
Separately, Dixon accused Def Jam cofounder Russell Simmons of rape in 2017, a claim he has denied. She spoke about her experience in the 2020 HBO Max documentary, On the Record.
Reid’s “persistent campaign of sexual harassment and assault forced me to abandon the work I loved when I was at the top of my game in the music business,” Dixon said in a statement provided by her lawyers.
She left the industry to 2002 to attend Harvard Business School and is now a board member at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.