Recording Academy president Deborah Dugan addressed the latest controversy surrounding the Grammys on Good Morning America Thursday. Along with her lawyer, Doug Wigdor, Dugan provided insight to the allegations she faces and those she put forth against members of the Academy, which she claims she has evidence for. Three weeks before she was placed on administrative leave, Dugan sent a detailed memo to the Academy’s human resources department with numerous complaints about the Academy, including instances of voting irregularities. “I believe in what the Recording Academy should stand for, for artists, and I was trying at each step to take a deep breath and say ‘Okay, I can make a difference. I can fix this. I can work with this team,’” she told George Stephanopoulos.
In her memo, she claims Grammys general legal counsel Joel Katz conducted himself improperly with her, under the guise of a work dinner. “Starting with calling me ‘babe,’ saying how attractive I was, how pretty I was,” she recalled. “The evening went on to a kiss, trying to kiss me. All the way through I realized that I was being tested to how much I would acquiesce.” Katz has “categorically denied” this allegation. She also claims to have found multiple voting irregularities due to the lack of a transparent system. Dugan has filed a claim with the Los Angeles Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, detailing allegations and evidence against the Academy. Even with all the chaos surrounding this year’s Grammy Awards, she still plans on watching the ceremony. “I worked very hard on the show,” she said. “I love the artists that are going to be performing and I love all of those that are nominated that don’t get the honor of being on the show.”