Antonio “L.A.” Reid, a prominent music executive known for shaping the careers of artists like Usher, Mariah Carey, and Pink, is facing accusations of sexual assault from a former music executive, Drew Dixon, who worked alongside him. The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, alleges that Reid assaulted Dixon twice in 2001 while they were both at Arista Records, hindering her career and preventing her from working with future stars such as John Legend and Kanye West.
The lawsuit specifically accuses Reid of sexual battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and a “crime of violence motivated by gender.” Dixon states that the assaults not only caused her physical harm but also irreparably damaged her once-promising career in the music industry.
In a statement, Dixon asserts that Reid, a “known predator,” exploited his professional power to coerce victims. She describes a persistent campaign of sexual harassment and assault that forced her to abandon her successful position in the music business.
Reid’s record label, Mega, and Harper Collins, the publisher of his 2017 memoir, did not respond to requests for comment. Dixon’s attorney, Kenya Davis, accuses Reid of leveraging his position to sexually harass and assault Dixon.
According to the lawsuit, Dixon alleges two instances of sexual assault by Reid in 2001. The first occurred on Reid’s private plane during a company retreat to Puerto Rico, while the second took place in Reid’s car later that year under the pretext of discussing demo recordings.
The lawsuit claims that after Dixon rejected Reid’s advances, he retaliated by punishing the artists she had signed or by blocking her attempts to sign new talent.
Dixon worked at Arista from 1996 to 2002, returning to the music industry in 2004 after graduating from Harvard. Reid, with three Grammy wins to his name, served as the CEO and president of Arista Records before moving to Def Jam in 2004, where he contributed to the success of artists like Rihanna, Bon Jovi, and Justin Bieber.
Dixon’s allegations fall under the Adult Survivors Act, a New York law enacted in 2022, allowing adult survivors of sexual assault up to one year to file a lawsuit, regardless of when the abuse occurred. Dixon played a role in advocating for the passage of this law.
These new allegations come after Dixon accused Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, in 2017 of raping her in 1995, with Reid allegedly harassing her, affecting her career. Simmons denied the allegations made by Dixon and two other women who accused him of rape.
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