A civil lawsuit filed in Tennessee federal court — first reported by Variety and independently obtained by Billboard — on May 11, 2023, accused Jimmie Allen of sexual assault. A Jane Doe, who was a day-to-day manager at Allen’s former management company Wide Open Music, alleged that the country singer had “harassed” and “sexually abused her” over 18 months from 2020 to 2022, and that she was fired after she complained.
“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,” her attorneys stated in the complaint. “However, Allen made clear that plaintiff’s job was dependent on her staying silent about his conduct.”
Allen responded to the allegations in a statement shared with Billboard, admitting to a sexual relationship with his accuser, but denied all allegations of wrongdoing. “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,” he said.
The complaint also names management firm Wide Open Music and founder Ash Bowers as defendants, claiming they did not do enough to protect their employee from Allen’s alleged abusive behavior. The lawsuit alleges that after she revealed she had been “raped and sexually abused” by Allen, Wide Open Music and Bowers fired her in retaliation.
In his own statement sent to Billboard, Bowers strongly denied Jane Doe’s assertion that her position was terminated in retaliation. He said that Wide Open Music learned of Allen’s abuse on Oct. 4, 2022, and “immediately ended our professional relationship” at that point, and that “any assertion she ever raised the existence of a sexual or physical relationship” with the country singer before then “is patently and objectively false.”
Since the allegations against Allen surfaced in the lawsuit, he has been suspended by his label, dropped from a performance slot at CMA Fest and more. See the timeline of the fallout since the lawsuit was filed against him.
May 11: Jane Doe Files Civil Lawsuit Against Allen
A civil lawsuit was filed May 11, 2023, in Tennessee federal court by a Jane Doe accuser, claiming that Allen repeatedly sexually harassed and raped her while she was a member of his management team, and that the management company allegedly fired the accuser when she reported his behavior. The lawsuit claims 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.
The case was filed by attorney Elizabeth Fegan, who has previously represented victims of Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein, as well as Dr. George Tyndall, a campus gynecologist at the University of Southern California, who was accused of sexually abusing patients.
May 11: Allen Denies Allegations
Allen responded to the allegations from “Jane Doe,” admitting to a sexual relationship with his accuser, but denying all allegations of wrongdoing.
“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 said via a statement to Billboard. “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.”
Wide Open Music and founder Ash Bowers were also named as defendants in the lawsuit. Bowers denied Doe’s claims that they didn’t do enough to protect employees from Allen’s alleged abuse, called her claim that she was fired in retaliation “false,” and stated that any assertion she made about an “existence of a sexual or physical relationship” with the star — or that WOM or Bowers was aware of it — prior to Oct. 4, 2022, was “patently and objectively false.”
May 11: Label Suspends Allen
Hours after the news of the lawsuit was revealed, Allen’s label, BBR Music Group, said they were suspending their working relationship with Allen.
“In light of today’s allegations against Jimmie Allen, BBR Music Group has decided to suspend all activity with him, effective immediately,” the label said in a statement to Billboard. The suspension included promotion of Allen’s current radio single, “Be Alright.”
May 11: Allen Is Dropped From CMA Fest Performance Slot
On May 11, Billboard confirmed that Allen was dropped from his CMA Fest performance slot. The singer had been slated to perform during the 50th annual CMA Fest in Nashville on Sunday, June 11, at Nissan Stadium.
May 11: Allen Replaced as Keynote Speaker at Delaware State University Commencement Ceremony
On May 11, Delaware State University released a statement regarding the May 12 commencement ceremony that had previously booked Delaware native Allen as a keynote speaker.
“Delaware State University has been notified by Jimmie Allen, the scheduled keynote speaker for its 8 a.m., May 12 Undergraduate Commencement, that he will be unable to participate in the ceremony,” the university’s statement to Rolling Stone read. “The University respects Mr. Allen’s decision and is grateful that Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester has agreed to address the graduates.”
May 12: Allen Suspended by Booking Agency, New Management Company
A day after the allegations against Allen became public, his booking agency UTA, as well as his current management company The Familie, each stated that they had suspended their work with the singer-songwriter.
“Given the nature of the allegations in the lawsuit filed on Thursday, The Familie has decided to suspend management activities with Jimmie Allen effective immediately,” a spokesperson for the management firm told Billboard in a statement. The Familie began working with Allen in 2022, after he parted ways with his former management company, Wide Open Music.
Said UTA in a separate statement: “We have suspended our representation of Jimmie Allen due to the recent allegations against him, which we take seriously.”
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