Mike Greene, the music executive who oversaw the Grammys’ rise from an industry celebration into a globally televised event, has been sued for sexual harassment and assault. Terry McIntyre, who served as executive director of The Recording Academy’s Los Angeles chapter from 1994–96, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday (December 6) against Greene, who ran the company from 1988–2002, claiming he harassed her throughout her two-year tenure there and assaulted her on multiple occasions. Her initial complaint also accuses The Recording Academy of negligence for allowing Greene’s behavior to continue unchecked. The news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
According to McIntyre’s complaint, as reported by Billboard, Greene’s harassment began shortly after she joined The Recording Academy’s staff, making it clear that he expected her to “perform sex acts… in order to remain employed and progress” and telling her at one point that she needed to “give some head to get ahead.”
McIntyre alleges that the harassment progressed into an assault in May 1994 on a work trip to Hawaii. After drinking champagne with Greene and several other coworkers in Greene’s hotel room, she says she “quickly began to feel unwell and began to lose control of her physical movements.” She woke up nude in his bed the following morning, knowing “what [Greene] had done to her.”
McIntyre says she didn’t report the incident at the time because she felt Greene “held the power to effectively block her from any further positions in the music industry.” She claims Greene’s harassment continued after the Hawaii trip, in the form of unwanted touching and groping. She further alleges that Greene assaulted her a second time while she worked at The Recording Academy, inviting her to a fake work meeting at his home and then forcing her to give him oral sex.
In the complaint, McIntyre says she did report this second incident to her supervisor but was told that she “should just find a way to get along” or she “would not be successful, or employed, at [the] Academy for very long.” When she resigned from her job in 1996, she claims she was squeezed out of the music industry altogether, returning to her hometown and working entry-level positions.
Greene’s 2002 resignation from The Recording Academy was abrupt and came amid a wave of harassment allegations, though the Academy claimed at the time to have cleared him of said allegations in an internal investigation. He received a severance package of $8 million.
McIntyre’s suit was filed under AB 2777, a temporary law that will allow Californians to litigate sex crimes beyond the state’s statute of limitations until 2026. (A slew of sexual assault lawsuits were recently filed in New York under a similar bill that expired in November.) The case comes less than a month after an anonymous plaintiff accused Greene’s successor Neil Portnow, who held The Recording Academy’s top position from 2002–17, of drugging and raping her in June 2018.
In a statement to the press, a spokesperson for The Recording Academy declined to comment on McIntyre’s accusations “in light of pending litigation,” noting that the events in question allegedly happened close to 30 years ago.
“Today’s Recording Academy has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual misconduct and we will remain steadfast in that commitment,” the statement continued.
Greene did not immediately respond to multiple outlets’ requests for comment.