The lawsuit specifically accuses Reid of sexual battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress as well as a “crime of violence motivated by gender.”
“This litigation is not only about the horrific physical assaults that Ms. Dixon had to endure,” the lawsuit says, “but it is also about the irreparable damage done to the rare and blossoming career of an extraordinary talent.”
“L.A. Reid is a known predator, who uses his singular professional power to force himself on his victims,” Dixon said in a statement. “In my case, his persistent campaign of sexual harassment and assault forced me to abandon the work I loved when I was at the top of my game in the music business, having worked my way up from internships and a job as a receptionist.”
Dixon’s attorney, Kenya Davis, said in a statement that Reid “leveraged his position of authority to sexually harass and assault” Dixon.
Reid could not immediately be reached for comment. His record label, Mega, which he co-founded with Usher, as well as Harper Collins, which published his 2017 memoir, did not respond to requests for comment.
In the lawsuit, Dixon claims that she was sexually assaulted twice by Reid in 2001. The first incident allegedly happened on Reid’s private plane on the way to a company retreat in Puerto Rico for Arista Records, which had a joint venture with Reid’s LaFace Records label. A second assault, according to the lawsuit, happened in Reid’s car during the same year after he said the two would discuss demo recordings of an unsigned artist.
After the incidents, “Reid would directly respond to Ms. Dixon’s rejection of his sexual advances by punishing the artists Ms. Dixon had already signed or by blocking the artists she attempted to sign,” according to the lawsuit.
Dixon worked at Arista from 1996 to 2002. She returned to the music industry after graduating from Harvard in 2004.
Reid has won three Grammys throughout his career, including for the Boyz II Men song “End of the Road” in 1993. He eventually became the CEO and president of Arista Records in 2000 and began working with emerging artists like Avril Lavigne and OutKast. Reid then moved to Def Jam in 2004 where he helped see the rise of artists such as Rihanna, Bon Jovi and Justin Bieber.
Reid became a judge on “The X-Factor” competition show in 2011, the same year he became CEO of Epic Records. During his time at the label, he oversaw the success of artists such as Future and Travis Scott. He left Epic Records in 2017 after an assistant accused him of sexual assault, according to Variety.
Dixon’s allegations will fall under the Adult Survivors Act, a New York law enacted in 2022 that gives adult sexual assault survivors up to one year to file a lawsuit regardless of when the abuse happened. Dixon pushed and advocated for the law to pass.
“I joined a coalition of brave survivors to fight for the passage of the Adult Survivors Act because trauma takes time, and I believe all victims of sexual violence should have the opportunity to pursue justice before a jury of their peers,” Dixon said in a statement Wednesday. “Thanks to the ASA, hundreds of survivors in the state of New York have already held their abusers accountable, and today I found the courage to join them.”
The new allegations follow accusations Dixon made against Russell Simmons, the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, in 2017. Dixon alleged that he raped her in 1995 and that Reid harassed her, which affected her career in the music industry. Simmons denied the allegations by Dixon and two other women, who also accused him of rape.
“I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual,” he told the New York Times.