By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) - L.A. Reid, the music executive known for helping develop superstars like Mariah Carey, Pink, TLC and Usher, was sued on Wednesday by a former music executive who accused him of sexually assaulting her more than two decades ago.
Drew Dixon said Reid, 67, derailed her once promising music industry career after he became Arista Records' chief executive because she rejected his advances, including two assaults that she said occurred in 2001.
Dixon, of Brooklyn, is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in her lawsuit in Manhattan federal court.
A representative for Reid did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Lawyers who have represented him on recent legal matters did not immediately respond to similar requests.
Dixon sued under New York state's Adult Survivors Act, which gives adults a one-year window to sue over alleged sexual abuse that occurred long ago even if statutes of limitations have expired. The window closes this month.
She is one of many women to accuse prominent entertainment industry figures of sexual misconduct since the #MeToo movement began in 2017, in the aftermath of accusations against now-imprisoned movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
Now a board member at New York University's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, Dixon was a subject of the 2020 HBO Max documentary "On the Record" concerning sexual misconduct accusations by women against rap mogul Russell Simmons.
Dixon had also publicly accused Reid of misconduct in December 2017, seven months after he left his position as Epic Records chief, where he was also accused of improper behavior.
Reid told The New York Times at the time in response to Dixon's accusations: "I'm proud of my track record promoting, supporting and uplifting women at every company I've ever run. That notwithstanding, if I have ever said anything capable of being misinterpreted, I apologize unreservedly."
'FEMALE RICK RUBIN'
Dixon said Reid began harassing her shortly after his arrival at Arista in 2000.
She said his first assault occurred in January 2001 when, on a private plane flying executives to a Puerto Rico retreat, he played with her hair, kissed her and penetrated her without consent.
Dixon said the second assault occurred several months later during a ride home from an event in New York, where Reid groped, kissed and penetrated her without consent.
According to the complaint, Dixon's career had earlier been on a "meteoric trajectory" that led one industry insider to brand her the "female Rick Rubin."
Dixon said that ended as Reid became "hostile" because she resisted his demands, including that she meet him late at night in his hotel and wear skirts instead of jeans, resulting in her budgets being slashed and her artists being rejected.
She left the industry to 2002 to attend Harvard Business School.
Reid's "persistent campaign of sexual harassment and assault forced me to abandon the work I loved when I was at the top of my game in the music business," Dixon said in a statement provided by her lawyers.
Dixon's mother Sharon Pratt, formerly known as Sharon Pratt Dixon and Sharon Pratt Kelly, was mayor of Washington, D.C. from 1991 to 1995.
The case is Dixon v Reid, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 23-09878.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional reporting by Steve Gorman and Mike Scarcella; Editing by Richard Chang)