Three days after reports that Epic Records chairman and CEO L.A. Reid was leaving Sony Music, the reason for his abrupt departure has come to light.
According to the New York Post, Reid has been accused of sexual harassment by a female assistant at Epic Records. In a letter submitted to Sony Music, the accuser, represented by an attorney, details instances during which inappropriate behavior was allegedly exhibited by the industry veteran.
New York Post report:
L.A. Reid, the influential head of Epic Records, was ousted from the Sony Music label after a co-worker complained to the company about several instances of alleged sex harassment, The Post has learned.
The 60-year old music industry veteran allegedly made inappropriate physical advances toward an assistant at last December’s company holiday party, among other instances, according to a March 22 letter a lawyer for the woman sent to Julie Swidler, Sony Music’s General Counsel, said a source who provided details from the letter.
The female assistant, whose name The Post is withholding, also claims Reid, who has led Epic for nearly six years, also asked her to lie down in bed with him and give him a hug while the two were at a hotel while traveling on business, the letter alleges.
Reid, who is married, also made comments about what clothes he liked her to wear and described her as looking “fine,” the letter claims.
Sony Music, in a one-sentence statement on Saturday — “L.A. Reid will be leaving the company” — confirmed the executive was on his way out. It did not elaborate.
When asked about the complaints made in the letter, Sony Music on Sunday had no comment.
Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer, who took over the top spot at the company last month, appears to have taken decisive action in the first major crisis to come along.
“We are not allowing a culture like that in this company,” one insider familiar with Reid’s ouster told The Post, “no matter how much a person brings to the bottom line.”
Reid’s recent successes include signing Meghan Trainor, Future, Fifth Harmony and DJ Khaled — who currently has the No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Hot 100, with “I’m the One.”
Emails on Sunday to Reid’s lawyer, Joel Katz, the head of Greenberg Traurig’s global entertainment and media practice, requesting comment on the allegations, were not returned.
Meanwhile, Reid, also known as Antonio Reid, has been telling friends since Thursday, when reports of his ouster started ricocheting around the music industry, that he is talking to Warner Music Group boss Len Blavatnik about a position running the company’s Warner Brothers label, sources said.