Jimmie Allen Suspended by Label After Manager’s Sexual Assault Lawsuit – Billboard

Jimmie Allen Suspended by Label After Manager’s Sexual Assault Lawsuit – Billboard

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Country music star Jimmie Allen‘s label BBR Music Group has suspended him following allegations of sexual assault in a lawsuit filed Thursday (May 11) by his ex-manager.

“In light of today’s allegations against Jimmie Allen, BBR Music Group has decided to suspend all activity with him, effective immediately,” says a statement from the label. That includes ceasing radio promotion on his current single, “Be Alright,” which climbs 59-57 on this Billboard’s Country Airplay chart dated May 13. 

The move came hours after news broke that Allen was facing a lawsuit that claims he repeatedly sexually harassed and raped a woman on his management team — and that his management company then fired her when she complained.

In a civil lawsuit filed Thursday in Tennessee federal court — first reported by Variety and independently obtained by Billboard — an anonymous “Jane Doe” accuser says that Allen “manipulated and used his power” over her job as a day-to-day manager in order to “sexually harass and abuse her” over a period of 18 months from 2020 to 2022.

“Plaintiff expressed in words and actions that Jimmie Allen’s conduct was unwelcome, including pushing him away, sitting where he could not reach her, telling him she was uncomfortable and no, and crying uncontrollably,” the woman’s lawyers write in the complaint. “However, Allen made clear that plaintiff’s job was dependent on her staying silent about his conduct.”

In a statement to Billboard, Allen admitted to a sexual relationship with his accuser but denied all allegations of wrongdoing and vowed to defend himself against the lawsuit.

“It is deeply troubling and hurtful that someone I counted as one of my closest friends, colleagues and confidants would make allegations that have no truth to them whatsoever,” Allen says. “I acknowledge that we had a sexual relationship — one that lasted for nearly two years. During that time she never once accused me of any wrongdoing, and she spoke of our relationship and friendship as being something she wanted to continue indefinitely.”

“Only after things ended between us, did she hire a lawyer to reach out and ask for money, which leads me to question her motives,” Allen’s statement continues. “The simple fact is, her accusations are not only false, but also extremely damaging. I’ve worked incredibly hard to build my career, and I intend to mount a vigorous defense to her claims and take all other legal action necessary to protect my reputation.”

Allen’s attorney did not immediately return an additional request for comment on BBR Music Group’s decision to suspend its relationship with the star.

The complaint also names management firm Wide Open Music and founder Ash Bowers, claiming they did not do enough to protect their employee from it from Allen’s abusive behavior. When the woman formally disclosed that she had been “raped and sexually abused” by the star, her lawsuit says that Wide Open Music and Bowers then fired her in retaliation.

In his own statement, Bowers strongly denied the allegations. He said Wide Open Music had learned of Allen’s abuse on Oct. 4, 2022, and had “immediately ended our professional relationship” at that point.

“Any assertion that she ever raised the existence of a sexual or physical relationship between Mr. Allen and her (or that Wide Open Music or I was aware of any such relationship) before October 4, 2022 is patently and objectively false,” Bowers said.

Bowers also denied that the lawsuit’s claim that the accuser had been terminated in retaliation: “Once WOM no longer managed Mr. Allen, that role was gone and, furthermore, WOM has transitioned out of artist management completely to development and publishing. Accordingly, any claim that our professional relationship with her ended due to retaliation is also false.”

In her lawsuit, Allen’s accuser makes graphic and disturbing allegations of sexual assault.

She says the star began by repeatedly sexually harassing her, “making comments about her status as a single female, her innocence, and how hot she looked” and asking her “personal sexual questions,” including whether or not she was a virgin.

According to the lawsuit, she later began to receive unwanted touching and hugging. Then, after a taping of American Idol, she says Allen sexually assaulted her while she was “incapacitated and incapable of giving consent.”

“While she only drank a couple of glasses of white wine, plaintiff does not remember anything after dinner that evening — she lost consciousness and awoke naked in her hotel room several hours later, with Jimmie Allen insisting she take Plan B as soon as possible,” her lawyers say, referring to a brand of morning-after contraceptive.

The lawsuit claims that the abuse then continued after that first incident in many additional ways.

“When plaintiff drove Allen to and from events, he sexually abused her at red lights, in green rooms, on airplanes, and in other places she was required to be to support him at events,” her lawyers say. “He raped her in private while choking her. He videotaped multiple sexual encounters in order to blackmail her to stay silent.”

Months later, when Doe says she was “on the verge of a nervous breakdown and considered committing suicide,” she claims she finally disclosed the alleged abuse to Bowers and asked to be reassigned to a different artist. After allegedly telling her, “I can’t hear any more of this,” Bowers then allegedly texted her that she would be placed on leave.

“On or about October 17, 2022, Bowers texted plaintiff stating, ‘[W]e are still unwinding things with Jimmie. Until that process is complete — we need you to continue to stay/work from home. We will update you once that’s completed,’” her complaint reads. “On October 26, 2022 … WOM terminated Plaintiff.”

In technical terms, Thursday’s lawsuit includes claims of battery, assault and false imprisonment against Allen; multiple claims of negligence against Wide Open Music and Bowers; and claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress and violations of federal sex trafficking statutes against all three.

The case was filed by attorney Elizabeth Fegan, who has previously represented victims of disgraced executive Harvey Weinstein and Dr. George Tyndall, a campus gynecologist at the University of Southern California accused of sexually abusing hundreds of patients.

Allen was slated to give the commencement address at the University of Delaware tomorrow. Neither his representative or the university responded to request for comment on whether the Delaware native was still speaking. 



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