Woman accuses Atlantic Records CEO Ahmet Ertegun of assault

A former music supervisor has accused Ahmet Ertegun, the late co-founder and longtime chief government of Atlantic Records, of sexually assaulting her a number of occasions spanning a long time, and she alleges that the document firm lined it up.

Jan Roeg filed a lawsuit on Monday in New York state court docket towards Ertegun‘s estate and Atlantic Records, which is owned by Warner Music Group, for sexual assault, sexual battery, negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress starting in the early 1980s. She seeks monetary damages that would be set during a trial.

Roeg filed the lawsuit under New York’s Grownup Survivors Act, which was signed into legislation earlier this 12 months and went into impact on Nov. 24. The brand new legislation permits survivors of sexual assault to sue their abusers even when the statute of limitations has expired. Ertegun died in 2006 at age 83.

Roeg alleged in a 28-page grievance that in her decades-long working relationship with Atlantic Records, Ertegun groped her, masturbated in entrance of her and tried to bodily drive her to carry out oral intercourse on him whereas using in a automobile collectively. She mentioned the document firm was conscious of different cases of alleged sexual assault and harassment by the hands of the previous government, but didn’t act and shield Roeg and different ladies.

“As Ms. Roeg shows in her Complaint, the ‘sex, drugs, and Rock n’ Roll’ culture in the music industry at companies like Atlantic Records was taken as license by powerful men like Ahmet Ertegun to engage in sexual assault and other abuse of women,” mentioned Lawrence Pearson, Roeg’s lawyer, in an announcement on Monday. “Now, Ms. Roeg and other survivors of sexual assault who in past years were forced into silence due to the threat of retaliation or loss of their careers can get justice under the Adult Survivors Act.”

Warner Music Group and Atlantic Records mentioned in an announcement on Monday that it takes “allegations of misconduct very seriously.”

“These allegations date back nearly 40 years, to before WMG was a standalone company,” the music firm instructed The Instances by means of a spokesperson. “We are speaking with people who were there at the time, taking into consideration that many key individuals are deceased or into their 80s and 90s. To ensure a safe, equitable, and inclusive working environment, we have a comprehensive Code of Conduct, and mandatory workplace training, to which all of our employees must adhere. We regularly evaluate how we can evolve our policies to ensure our work environment is free from discrimination and harassment.”

Roeg and Ertegun first met in 1983 for a gathering inside an Atlantic Records workplace to debate the label presumably signing one in every of Roeg’s shoppers, Caspar McCloud. Roeg additionally managed the high-profile rock bands Unhealthy Firm and Lynyrd Skynyrd (and its lead singer, Johnny Van Zant).

Through the assembly, whereas listening to McCloud’s music, one in every of Roeg’s contact lenses fell to the bottom. Whereas making an attempt to retrieve the contact on the ground, Ertegun allegedly walked up behind her and reached his hand up her skirt, the lawsuit mentioned. Roeg yelled and scooted away from Ertegun, who then commented on her legs, the go well with mentioned.

One other government supervisor on the document firm interrupted that assembly.

Someday quickly after, Ertegun requested to fulfill Roeg once more, this time for supper with two different Atlantic executives. After dinner, the 2 stopped at Ertegun’s condominium on their approach to a membership. Whereas there, Ertegun allegedly positioned his hand on Roeg’s knee, which Roeg moved apart, court docket paperwork mentioned. She went to make use of the lavatory and returned to Ertegun masturbating in entrance of her, the go well with alleges.

When she tried to depart, Ertegun grabbed her and compelled her towards the wall, persevering with to masturbate, in response to the go well with. She ultimately managed to flee the condominium.

The lawsuit mentioned Ertegun continued his sexual advances towards Roeg for many years, together with different cases of assault all through the Nineties and into the 2000s.

Ertegun, a Turkish-American businessman, was broadly credited with serving to to form pop music by means of Atlantic Records starting within the Fifties. The label was house to heavyweights resembling Ray Charles, Large Joe Turner, Ruth Brown, Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Sonny & Cher and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Younger, amongst many others.

Ertegun, who additionally based the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame in 1983, remained chairman of Atlantic Records till his demise from a head damage ensuing from a fall..