Russell Simmons Accuser Points Finger at L.A. Reid: Report
One of the women who stepped forward and accused Russell Simmons of sexual abuse has also claimed harassment under another former boss, Antonio “L.A.” Reid.
According to a report in The New York Times, Drew Dixon claims Reid began sexualizing her during her stint at Arista Records, as an A&R executive, and the former executive would ”turn cold when she denied his unwanted overtures,” which reportedly included invitations to late-night catchups at his hotel.
“It was a quid pro quo: ‘I have power, you want access, sleep with me — or I’m going to be really mean to you the next day. And there will be consequences,’” she told the Times.
Dixon, a former Def Jam A&R executive, claims Simmons made relentless, aggressive sexual advances towards her when she joined the company in 1992. She left to join Arista in 1996 under then-chief Clive Davis. Reid replaced Davis in 2000. According to the published report, she found herself trying to “parry” Reid’s overtures without offending him.
He supplied the following statement to The Times: “I’m proud of my track record promoting, supporting and uplifting women at every company I’ve ever run. That notwithstanding, if I have ever said anything capable of being misinterpreted, I apologize unreservedly.”
Reid left the top job at Epic earlier this year following a sexual harassment claim by a former female assistant, and Sony reached a settlement with the assistant earlier this summer, sources tell Billboard.