The appearance will likely heat up an already explosive situation in the run-up to the Grammy Awards on Sunday. Dugan was placed on administrative leave last week, just ten days before the show, amid allegations of misconduct against an unnamed female employee that amount to verbal abuse; Dugan’s attorneys denied this in an explosive 66-page complaint against the Academy filed yesterday.
That complaint alleges that her predecessor, Neil Portnow, raped a female artist (and Academy executives were aware), a claim he has since denied; that Joel Katz, a prominent attorney who has been part of the Academy’s inner circle for decades, attempted to “woo” and kiss her after a private dinner, a claim he has since denied; “egregious conflicts of interest, improper self-dealing by Board members and voting irregularities with respect to nominations for Grammy Awards”; and that her emails were being monitored and shared with Academy executives by her assistant, Claudine Little, who was previously Portnow’s assistant; and exorbitant or unnecessary legal bills to outside attorneys, conflicts of interest and more (the company’s tax records show that it paid nearly $15 million to two outside law firms over five years).
Sources close to the Academy say that she clashed with its culture and was dismissive and impatient with some employees. One thing is clear: It was an awkward fit. The war of words between the two sides has continued to escalate and threatens to overshadow the Grammy Awards themselves.