Kenny MacPherson – the CEO of Hipgnosis Songs Group – has been accused of sexual battery and harassment by a former worker, in response to a brand new lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed by Sara Lewis, who labored alongside MacPherson on the music publishing firm Chrysalis when he was president. Filed on Wednesday (October 4), the go well with lists MacPherson and BMG as defendants, and claims that his actions whereas within the position pushed her out of the trade.
In line with the allegations, Lewis claims she “endured an onslaught of undesirable sexual advances by MacPherson”, and that the music mogul “unabashedly used his energy and authority” to attempt to guarantee her compliance. She additionally accuses MacPherson of grooming and harassing her over quite a few years, together with situations of touching, groping and sexual assault.
In an announcement shared with Rolling Stone, MacPherson’s legal professional acknowledged that they “vehemently deny all allegations made towards Mr. MacPherson in Ms. Lewis’ unverified grievance filed”.
Within the go well with, it’s outlined that the corporate – which represented purchasers like OutKast and Thom Yorke – employed Lewis in the summertime of 2002, and MacPherson joined shortly thereafter. It additionally alleges that he started displaying Lewis more and more extra consideration throughout their time working collectively, which quickly “devolved from mentorship to inappropriate behaviour”.
Kenny MacPherson. CREDIT: Rebecca Sapp/WireImage/Getty
These reportedly included “bodily invading Sara’s private area” and alluring himself again to her lodge room the place he supposedly touched her thigh and confessed his love for her. Later, the situations escalated, the declare states, and would see MacPherson continuously nook her within the workplace, try and kiss and bodily grope her, demand entry to her in any respect hours of the day, and attempt to provoke cellphone intercourse.
Hipgnosis – which owns catalogue rights for artists together with Justin Bieber and Nile Rodgers – confirmed MacPherson was positioned on a depart of absence on Tuesday morning (October 3) and shared an announcement (by way of Selection).
“Hipgnosis Songs Fund has a coverage of zero-tolerance to harassment or abuse,” it reads. “Whereas these historic allegations relate to a interval 15 years earlier than Hipgnosis was based, Kenny MacPherson was positioned on depart of absence from Hipgnosis Songs Group as quickly because it turned conscious of the allegations. Our rigorous procedures for coping with such issues have commenced.”
Moreover BMG, who later merged with Chrysalis, informed the outlet: “BMG stands solidly towards all types of discrimination, harassment, and abuse and we’re shocked and dismayed by the allegations made by Sara Lewis. As a degree of reality, BMG didn’t exist till October 1, 2008, years after the alleged occasions had occurred, and didn’t purchase Chrysalis till years later in 2011.”
Kenny MacPherson. CREDIT: Joshua Blanchard/Getty Photographs
Within the lawsuit, Lewis detailed experiencing emotional misery brought on by MacPherson’s actions and likewise acknowledged that it led to anxiousness and melancholy. The go well with provides that MacPherson promoted her as director of A&R in an try and be nearer to her and that his behaviour was recognized by different workers at Chrysalis, who allegedly unfold rumours that they have been having an affair.
Additional particulars go on to recall a 2005 enterprise journey to Chicago, wherein MacPherson is accused of inviting himself into her lodge room underneath the guise of labor and performing forcible oral intercourse on her whereas she repeatedly mentioned “no”.
Extra incidents are detailed within the go well with, and Lewis additionally states that when she tried to inform different workers about his behaviour there have been makes an attempt to “sweep it underneath the rug”, and that she was progressively shut out of conferences and was ignored by workers. When she started to search for work elsewhere, MacPherson retaliated by branding her as “un-hirable”, the go well with alleges. As a consequence of this, it provides, she took a big demotion and pay lower to work for a smaller firm, however in the end left the trade.
Lewis is suing for sexual battery, sexual harassment, negligent hiring and wrongful termination, amongst different claims. As reported by Selection, the go well with was filed underneath the California Sexual Abuse and Cowl-Up Accountability Act – a legislation launched final yr that opens a one-year window to file lawsuits that might in any other case be barred by the statute of limitations.