Over the weekend, Sony Music Entertainment confirmed that influential producer and former X-Factor judge L.A. Reid would be stepping down as the head of its Epic Records label, with many questioning the sudden and vague nature of the announcement. Now, Billboard is reporting that sources (presumably from within Epic) say that Reid was ousted because he allegedly sexually harassed an employee “on a daily basis.”
The unnamed woman laid out her claims in a letter to Sony that was “relayed to Billboard,” and in it she reportedly accused Reid of making “inappropriate remarks about her appearance and clothing” and of making “propositions that caused her embarrassment and distress.” She said it got to a point where it was “impossible” to continue working at Epic, and she “threatened litigation” if Sony didn’t reach some sort of settlement. The letter prompted an investigation into the accusations, and though we don’t know what came of that, Reid is out either way.
Over the course of his career as a record industry mogul, Reid had a hand in helping to establish the careers of a ton of major music stars, including Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Rihanna, and—as he often noted in his run on Fox’s X-Factor—Justin Bieber. That means it’s a pretty big deal for Sony to cut ties with him so abruptly, especially in light of the company’s reluctance to do the same with Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, the record producer who Kesha accused of sexually and psychologically abuse.