A second woman files sexual assault lawsuit against Atlantic Records executives

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Dorothy Carvello, a erstwhile worker of Atlantic Records, has filed a ailment against the label, its genitor institution Warner Music Group, erstwhile Atlantic president and Universal Music Group CEO Doug Morris, erstwhile Atlantic president Jason Flom, and the property of precocious Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun, alleging that she was sexually abused and harassed by Ertegun and Morris, and sexually harassed by Flom, during her clip astatine Atlantic Records. Carvello began astatine Atlantic arsenic an administrative worker and aboriginal became the label’s archetypal pistillate A&R executive.

The lawsuit, filed successful New York connected 4 December, is the 2nd filed against Ertegun and Atlantic; precocious past period erstwhile endowment scout, Jan Roeg, filed a suit against Ertegun and the label implicit the alleged harassment and battle she faced portion moving for Atlantic done the 80s, 90s and 00s.

In the civilian filing, seen by the Guardian, Carvello alleges that she was “subjected to persistent and pervasive nonconsensual and forcible intersexual contact, degrading intersexual innuendo and insults, and outrageous ‘tasks’ for the intersexual gratification of executives” during her employment astatine Atlantic from 1987 done 1990.

She claimed that Atlantic executives treated institution premises specified arsenic offices, signaling studios and “even its firm helicopter” arsenic “places to indulge their intersexual desires,” with victims of intersexual battle “routinely paid settlements with firm funds” successful speech for their silence. She alleges a “blatantly toxic bureau culture” that allowed intersexual misconduct to hap with impunity.

Carvello – who is being represented by Camille Vasquez, counsel for Johnny Depp successful his defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard – alleges that she and different pistillate employees were “routinely” forced to ticker Ertegun masturbate, including portion helium dictated correspondence to her and that Ertegun engaged successful “forcible intersexual contact” towards her portion astatine work.

Carvello says that Ertegun “sexually attacked” her portion watching the set Skid Row, whom she was attempting to sign, and that Flom and different unnamed employees “looked connected and did thing to stop” Ertegun. She besides says that Ertegun “attacked” her again during the chopper thrust backmost from the Skid Row show. Carvello says that these attacks constituted Ertegun grabbing and squeezing her breasts, pulling down her motorcycle shorts, scratching the near broadside of her abdomen, bruising her, and “exposing her vagina to each and sundry”.

Carvello says that she “begged for Mr Flom and others” unnamed successful the assertion to help, to which they allegedly laughed. Upon seeing her motorcycle shorts during the chopper thrust home, she claims that Ertegun joked that Carvello “came prepared”. She besides alleges an incidental astatine a abstracted Skid Row performance successful which Ertegun fractured her arm; erstwhile she spoke to Morris astir it, she claims that helium replied: “What bash you privation maine to bash astir it?”

She further alleged that assorted unidentified executives routinely viewed pornography successful the bureau and during meetings, with Morris erstwhile placing a pornographic mag connected her table portion seated adjacent to her. She stated that 1 unnamed enforcement “decorated his bureau with enactment toys”, that enactment toys were stored successful her bureau without her consent and that Ertegun had her prime up and lavation “dirty enactment toys that had been plainly utilized for intersexual activity” successful his office.

Carvello claimed that 1 unnamed enforcement would accidental “blow me” to her portion walking past her table each day, an unnamed elder vice-president showed her a photograph of his erect penis, and 1 executive, Tunc Erim, who died successful 2012, would consistently grope her.

Carvello besides alleges that Morris would buss her “on her look each day” and routinely remark connected her assemblage “at times negatively with the intent to humiliate”.

Carvello says that she was fired from Atlantic successful September 1990, the time aft she archetypal reported successful penning the intersexual maltreatment she had faced astatine Atlantic to Morris. That ailment was prompted by an incidental successful which Flom allegedly told Carvello “honey, travel beryllium connected my lap” during a gathering helium had called; successful her memo to Morris, Carvello said that she was “tired of each this juvenile behaviour by each the men astatine Atlantic Records”.

The adjacent day, Ertegun supposedly called Carvello into his office, said that she had “questioned [Morris’] authority”, and terminated her employment.

After her termination by Atlantic, Carvello started moving astatine Giant Records, different Warner Music Group subsidiary, but her employment was terminated soon after. Carvello says successful the assertion “on accusation and belief” that Morris had utilized his power to person her fired and blacklist her from the industry. Carvello’s suit says that if not for Morris’ “vengeful and retaliatory actions”, she would inactive beryllium moving successful the euphony industry.

In her suit, Carvello besides alleges that Ertegun assaulted her astatine a Grammys enactment successful February 1998, during which Ertegun “shoved his manus betwixt [her] legs and forcibly pulled and ripped astatine her underwear, injuring her vagina”, which resulted successful Ertegun and Carvello “physically hitting each other” astatine the event.

In an email to the Guardian, Rick Werder, lawyer for the Ertegun estate, refuted the claims made successful Carvello’s lawsuit: “Mr Ertegun has been dormant since 2006. Mrs Ertegun is 96 years old. Ms Carvello’s assertion against Mrs Ertegun is meritless and volition beryllium vigorously defended connected her behalf.”

In a connection provided to the Guardian, which is astir identical to 1 issued successful effect to Roeg’s lawsuit, a spokesperson for Warner and Atlantic said: “Warner Music Group and Atlantic Records instrumentality allegations of misconduct precise seriously. These allegations day backmost 35 years, to earlier WMG was a standalone company. We are speaking with radical who were determination astatine the time, taking into information that galore cardinal individuals are deceased oregon into their 80s and 90s. To guarantee a safe, equitable, and inclusive moving environment, we person a broad Code of Conduct, and mandatory workplace training, to which each of our employees indispensable adhere. We regularly measure however we tin germinate our policies to guarantee our enactment situation is escaped from favoritism and harassment.”

Carvello archetypal spoke astir her experiences of harassment and battle astatine Atlantic successful her 2018 publication Anything for a Hit: An A&R Woman’s Story of Surviving the Music Industry. In the book, she wrote that “every time gave maine compelling reasons to get out”: “[Ertegun] created a satellite of utmost contradiction that could spell from amusive and breathtaking 1 infinitesimal to upsetting and abusive the next. When you’re caller astatine a job, particularly arsenic a woman, you don’t cognize if you tin talk up. If you fto the archetypal offence go, it becomes overmuch harder to halt the 2nd 1 from happening. I didn’t cognize wherever to gully the line, and I didn’t adjacent cognize that a enactment should oregon could beryllium drawn.”

Carvello’s claims autumn extracurricular the statute of limitations, but are being filed nether New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which has created a one-year period, opening 24 November, for the revival of intersexual abuse-related civilian claims that person been time-barred. She is seeking monetary compensation from the Ertegun estate, Morris, Flom, Warner and Atlantic, arsenic good arsenic “exemplary and punitive damages”.

In September, Carvello utilized her Warner Music Group shareholder presumption to effort to compel the institution to marque nationalist immoderate records it has of intersexual misconduct allegations astatine the company, including records of interior investigations, non-disclosure agreements, and settlements paid. “I privation to spot what the existent investigations, if any, were against these claims,” Carvello said at the time.

“We instrumentality allegations of misconduct precise earnestly and enforce policies that respect and support radical that rise concerns,” WMG said successful effect to Carvello’s letter. “The allegations elaborate successful this missive person already been dealt with publicly, galore of them were raised years oregon decades ago.”

The Guardian has contacted a typical for Flom for comment. Representatives for Morris could not beryllium reached.

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