Recording Academy Investigating Industry Attorney Joel Katz, Leaked Memo Says

Ex-Recording Academy President and CEO Deborah Dugan, who leveled the accusations against Joel Katz.

Ex-Recording Academy President and CEO Deborah Dugan, who leveled the accusations against Joel Katz.

Internal Recording Academy memos push back against Deborah Dugan’s allegations.

Per a pair of internally circulated Recording Academy memos that were leaked by Variety, the organization’s higher-ups are taking a number of steps to address and investigate the allegations made by ousted CEO Deborah Dugan. 

First and foremost, the memos (which were written by Board of Trustees head Harvey Mason Jr.) indicated that the Recording Academy has consulted an unaffiliated third-party law firm to conduct an investigation of lawyer Joel Katz, who Dugan accused of sexual harassment. Specifically, Dugan blasted Katz for attempting to kiss her at a dinner party. (Katz has disputed the allegations.) 

The law firm’s name and the investigation’s progress were not disclosed. 

Next, the memos addressed the fact that the Recording Academy exclusively hires external lawyers and does not have an in-house legal department. Dugan insinuated that this arrangement was indicative of corruption, but the cited text claimed that the Recording Academy uses a variety of legal services to meet its array of professional needs and to save money.  

The memos went on to state that specifics disproving Dugan’s “completely untrue” allegations would be revealed in due time, and that it would be unwise to publish this information presently, given Dugan’s ongoing lawsuit.

It was claimed that Dugan’s on-the-job performance issues and being named in a formal misconduct complaint (by assistant Claudine Little) were the chief reasons for her dismissal. 

Lastly, the fairness of the Grammy nomination process was defended, as was the fashion in which Board members cast their votes. A need for increased public awareness and understanding of the voting process was acknowledged, but the core integrity of the system was not questioned. Citing sources on the Board and those with direct knowledge of the matter, Variety indicated that instances of self-serving votes are both rare and debatable.  

Notably, no mention was made of Dugan’s allegation that former Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow committed rape. Portnow has vehemently denied the accusation, going as far as saying that a separate third-party investigation found him guilty of no wrongdoing. Police have not investigated the alleged incident, and no police report was filed. 

At the time of this piece’s writing, Deborah Dugan hadn’t responded publicly to the Variety report. To be sure, she has largely steered clear of the public eye since making the talk show rounds ahead of the 62nd Grammys. Additionally, each of her social media profiles has been inactive since January 10th. 

Also Read:  The Recording Academy Officially Fires Deborah Dugan, Lawyers Promise to Retaliate

4 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Duces

    The board blew their wad to early firing her 10 days before the award show
    You are all CROOKS I’m leaving The Academy after this
    None of you attorneys are there to do anything but make deals for your friends & selves
    The person who won my category didn’t even make a new age album
    It’s fucking elevator piano music

    I’m OUT
    The music you awarded this year was the WORST MUSIC I’VE HEARD IT’S CHEAP TRASH AND YOU TRASH THE GRAMMYS WITH THEM

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Dean Hajas

    Hi Marsha.
    I strongly suggest you dive into #SOCAN behavioural conduct of COO #JeffKing – represented by #Gowlings in a coverup of sexual misconduct – and using his status as exec of SOCAN to lure people into sexual behaviours on business premises. Ask them specifically about Tamara Le C. As they swept it under the judicial carpet in Canada using our Canadian generates Royalties. Now SOCAN is in additional hot water for non payment to the investors group of Audiam / Jeff King – New York Supreme Court.

    We’ve had enough of PRO’s spending our hard earned Royalties on their debauchery lust for lifestyle.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Ted

    Katz is a known dirty players. It’s just getting interesting. Time to clean house and rebuild this industry with real talent who cares about business and the artists.

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Soooooo Ready

    The Future Is INDEPENDENCE
    ANYONE WHO SIGNS WITH A COMPANY AFTER THE CRASH WILL BE QUICKLY BANKRUPTED
    THE INDEPENDENTS WILL BE BUYING HOMES NEAR KYLIE JENNER
    That’s how much money has been stolen from artists
    The Age Of The Music Monopoly Is Burning Down The Ground
    I wait to delight in watching it all ? BURN ?!!!

    Reply

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