L.A. Reid Accused of Sexual Harassment Amid Sudden Departure from Epic Records

Last week, Variety broke the news that chairman of Epic Records, L.A. Reid would be vacating his position with the longstanding label after six years. At the time, a reason for the record label exec’s sudden departure was not given, but, The New York Post might have just revealed the motive behind his abrupt move.

A very telling article that appeared on the online publication, The New York Post, was published on the site last night (May 14). In the piece, it was revealed that a co-worker with sexual harassment claims was the real reason behind Sony Music and Epic Records cutting ties with the 60-year-old music industry vet.

According to reports, a female co-worker (whose name is being held for anonymity) is a female assistant who alleges that Reid has “made inappropriate physical advances” towards her at the company holiday party last December. The instances of sexual harassment are reportedly detailed in a March 22 letter that a lawyer for the accuser sent to Sony Music’s General Counsel, Julie Swidler.

In another accusation, it is alleged that Reid requested her the woman to “lie down in bed with him and give him a hug while the two were at a hotel while traveling on business.” Reid allegedly also commented on her appearance, specifically about “what clothes he liked her to wear and described her as looking ‘fine’.”

Apparently, the young woman’s allegations of repeated instances of sexual harassment is what led to the cut and dry one-sentence statement Sony Music/Epic Records released about Reid, “L.A. Reid will be leaving the company.”

In regards to the letter and the allegations of harassment, there have been no comments made by Reid, Reid’s lawyer, or people from the Sony camp.

As for Reid, these claims and “leaving” Epic Records might not be too hard of a blow towards his career. The industry titan’s career has spanned decades. His time with a label he co-created with Babyface called LaFace Records spawned 33 number-one singles from signed artists TLC, OutKast, Toni Braxton, and Usher. From there, LaFace merged with Arista Records and Reid became president and CEO of Arista. He signed Avril Lavigne whose debut album sold six million copies in the US. He also signed P!nk and Ciara, whose debut album Goodies sold three million copies in the US.

Usher’s multi-platinum 2004 Confessions album also came to life under Reid’s guidance at Arista, as well as Outkast’s Grammy award-winning album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Both albums went on to sell 10 million copies each in the US. Reid is perhaps must credited for his hand in revitalizing Mariah Carey’s career after becoming chairman and CEO of The Island Def Jam Music Group. Her career was at a standstill, but with the success of her multi-platinum album The Emancipation of Mimi under his guidance, her career has seen incredible wins ever since. Additionally, Reid has also had a hand in the success of artists like Kanye West, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber.

With credentials like that, the exec is bound to find a place at the executive level at another record label sooner or later. In fact, sources say that he is in talks with Warner Music Group to run the Warner Brothers label.

The story is still developing.

Photo Credit: PR Photos

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.