L.A. Reid’s departure as the head of Epic Records was one of the more stunning exits by a top-level executive in the music industry in quite some time. In the immediate aftermath, many were left to wonder about the circumstances. Did he leave? Was he fired? It didn’t take long for the full details to become clear, and they were jarring.
Reid stands accused of multiple instances of sexual harassment, which is reportedly what led to his ouster. In a letter sent to Julie Swidler, Sony Music’s General Counsel back on March 22nd, Reid was said to have made “inappropriate physical advances” toward an assistant at a holiday party in December. In addition to that incident, she alleges that Reid also made advances toward her while the two were at a hotel on a business trip, including asking her to lay in the bed with him.
Today, Spin is reporting that executives at Epic allegedly knew about the misconduct before receiving Ms. Swidler’s letter. The accuser apparently tried to report the misdeeds to her immediate supervisor who, “offered no direction or solution for what had occurred. When she went over that person’s head to another higher level executive, she was allegedly told, “Before you say anything more, think about what that means for you. Just think about what it means.”
Sony has yet to comment about this incident and is still in the process of finding a replacement to take over operations at Epic in the absence of Reid.