Dugan’s filing also notes that during the dinner she told Katz, 75, that she wanted to hire an in-house attorney to “save the Academy millions of dollars.”
Howard Weitzman, an attorney for Katz, provided a statement that Katz “categorically and emphatically denies (Dugan’s) version of that evening.”
It continues, “This dinner meeting was 2½ months before Ms. Dugan started her job. Mr. Katz believed they had a productive and professional meeting in a restaurant where a number of members of the Board of Trustees of the Academy, and others, were dining. Ms. Dugan's claims are made, for the first time, 7 months after this dinner took place. Mr. Katz will cooperate in any and all investigations or lawsuits by telling the absolute and whole truth. Hopefully Ms. Dugan will do the same.”
Dugan states in her complaint that on Dec. 22, she emailed Shonda Grant, the human resources director at the Recording Academy, and described the “sexual harassment to which she was subjected by Joel Katz.”
Katz, a New York transplant who came to Atlanta more than 40 years ago and landed James Brown as his first client, has worked with the Recording Academy since the late 1980s.
In 2016, he negotiated a $600 million pact to keep the Grammy Awards and additional Recording Academy programming on CBS through 2026. He’s repeatedly present on Billboard’s annual “Power 100” list of music business dynamos.
Last year, ranked at No. 52, Katz was applauded for, among other achievements, setting a fundraising record for the T.J. Martell Foundation - $2 million in one night – the cancer research nonprofit which he chairs.
In 2008, Gov. Sonny Perdue renamed a portion of Northside Parkway as Joel Katz Parkway, and Katz's moniker is attached to the Kennesaw State Music and Entertainment Business program. In 2019, Billboard named it one of the top music business schools in the country.
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