L.A. Reid's exit from Epic tied to harassment allegations

Antonio “L.A.” Reid’s departure from his post as chairman of Epic Records last week was met with confusion by many in the industry who saw the move as abrupt.

For some that confusion has turned to shock as reports surfaced that the influential record man’s exit followed a claim by a female colleague accusing him of harassment.

Billboard reported that an attorney representing one of Reid’s female assistants sent a letter to Sony Music’s legal counsel regarding alleged sexual harassment that the assistant had faced on a daily basis over a year.

In the trade publication’s report, the 60-year-old executive was accused of making remarks about the type of clothing he wanted her to wear and “propositions that caused her embarrassment and distress.” The letter, according to Billboard, threatened litigation if a settlement couldn’t be reached.

Sources confirmed to The Times that the allegations surrounding Reid were a catalyst for his exit.

Sony declined to comment, and a lawyer for Reid didn’t return request for comment.

One source, who worked with the executive during his time on “X Factor,” said he demanded the women he worked with had “blowouts, makeup, the whole nine” on a daily basis.

In a video interview with Complex on Monday, rapper Joe Budden, who was signed to Def Jam during Reid’s tenure at the label, said, “this speaks to the issue of powerful men and how they’re able to come and go as they please.”

Since joining the ranks at the Sony Music label in 2011, Reid has steered Meghan Trainor, Fifth Harmony, Future, Travis Scott and DJ Khaled to superstardom.

The record man and Grammy Award-winning producer has also had a hand in albums from Justin Bieber, Kanye West, the Killers, Bon Jovi, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna and Avril Lavigne.

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gerrick.kennedy@latimes.com

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