According to the discrimination complaint obtained by Fox News, Claudine Little worked first as Portnow's executive assistant before Deborah Dugan took over the position and became her supervisor.
The complaint states, "It quickly became clear that Ms. Little was not up to the task" and even claims that Dugan received complaints pertaining to Little's conduct, leading her to search for a position for Little elsewhere in the company.
Now, Little has offered a statement to Fox News, slamming Dugan's comments on her behavior and her overall claims about Portnow.
“Ms. Dugan’s choice to litigate in the press and spread a false narrative about the Academy and me and my colleagues is regrettable, but it is also emblematic of Ms. Dugan’s abusive and bullying conduct while she served as the Academy’s President and CEO," Little said in the statement. "I am proud of my career with the Academy — where, as a woman, I was able to work my way from secretary to Director of Administration in the executive suite, solely based on merit and while working for and with leaders far more demanding and hard-charging than Ms. Dugan."
She continued: "It is disappointing that Ms. Dugan hopes to leverage public opinion along gender lines and expects not to be scrutinized for her inexcusable behavior simply because she is a woman; she should be held to the same standard.”
In the same EEOC complaint, Dugan claimed that Portnow "allegedly raped a female recording artist, which was, upon information and belief, the real reason his contract was not renewed." No name of the rape victim was given.
The document states that the Academy was aware of the rape allegation when Dugan was hired but kept the information from her.
Portnow offered a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, saying, "The document is filled with inaccurate, false and outrageous and terribly hurtful claims against me."
"Here is what is true: The allegations of rape are ludicrous, and untrue. The suggestion that there was is disseminating a lie," Portnow continued. "The baseless complaint about my conduct referenced in the EEOC filing was immediately brought to the attention of the Board of Director’s Executive Committee. An in-depth independent investigation by experienced and highly regarded lawyers was conducted and I was completely exonerated. There was no basis for the allegations and once again I deny them unequivocally."
Dugan was placed on "administrative leave" last week by human resources "in light of concerns raised to the Recording Academy Board of Trustees, including a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team."
The move came just 10 days before the 2020 Grammy Awards, set to air on Sunday, Jan. 26.