Former Grammys boss Deborah Dugan asks Recording Academy to make legal docs public as feud intensifies

Dugan was placed on administrative leave earlier this month

Former Grammys boss Deborah Dugan has asked to be released from the arbitration agreement she signed with the Recording Academy upon becoming President of the organisation in 2019.

Dugan, who was placed on administrative leave earlier this month, previously agreed that any future disputes between herself and the academy would take place confidentially and in private.

But in the wake of their ongoing feud, she has asked for a series of legal documents to be made public in a bid for transparency.

“The Academy intentionally brought this dispute to the public’s attention, and I am asking you to agree to let the public and music industry access the legal proceedings to come in this case,” Dugan wrote in a new letter.

“I have nothing to hide. The public and the music industry have the right to know what is going on behind closed doors at the Academy.”

Dugan was initially placed on administrative leave after she was accused of misconduct only a week before the Grammys took place.

She then filed a lawsuit against the Recording Academy, alleging she was sacked after raising allegations of sexual harassment.

Deborah Dugan
Deborah Dugan CREDIT: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

In her series of bombshell claims against the organisation, Dugan also says she was informed that former Grammys CEO Neil Portnow is facing an allegation of rape from a female recording artist – an allegation which he is yet to respond to.

Her latest letter states: “Forced arbitration takes away a victim’s right to a trial by a jury of her peers, and at the same time provides protection for perpetrators of misconduct. “This double-edged sword perpetuates misconduct in the workplace and allows corporate entities — which are universally the ‘client’ of the arbitrator in the employment context — to sweep unlawful conduct under the rug.”

Dugan also alleges that the academy’s latest investigation is “completely biased” because the investigator picked by the academy was Proskauer Rose, LLP — which she describes as “one of the law firms that is ‘in bed’ with the Academy.”
She instead proposes that an independent investigator is chosen.

Responding to the latest claims in a statement, the Academy said:  “Ms. Dugan continues to attempt to manage public perceptions through misinformation. The Recording Academy is weighing all of the available information and considering our options as it relates to the next steps with Ms. Dugan.

“We remain extremely disappointed in how she is choosing to handle the situation and strongly disagree with many of her claims. At this point, we are focused on the future and are excited about continuing the agenda of change and progress.”