A former colleague of Kenny MacPherson, the CEO of Hipgnosis Songs Group, has filed a lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault. Sara Lewis, who worked under MacPherson at Chrysalis from 2004 to 2008, alleges that he sexually assaulted her during a business trip in 2005 and subjected her to grooming and harassment in the previous year. Lewis also claims that MacPherson blackballed her when she sought employment elsewhere, leading her to leave the music industry.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles, names MacPherson and BMG, the company that acquired Chrysalis in 2010, as defendants. Lewis has sued both MacPherson and BMG for sexual battery, sexual harassment, and gender violence. BMG is also accused of negligence, creating a hostile work environment, labor violations, discrimination, and failure to prevent sexual harassment.
MacPherson’s attorney denies all allegations made against him in the lawsuit. Hipgnosis Songs, the company MacPherson is associated with, declined to comment. BMG expressed shock and dismay at the allegations, stating that the events in question took place before the company’s existence.
Hipgnosis Songs, under the leadership of Merck Mercuriadis, has become a prominent player in the music industry, acquiring catalogs from renowned artists. MacPherson, known for his work at Chrysalis and Big Deal Music, has signed notable artists and served on the National Music Publishers’ Association’s board of directors.
The lawsuit comes ahead of a crucial vote for Hipgnosis Songs Fund, which will decide the company’s future as a publicly traded entity and the approval of a $440 million asset sale to reduce its debt.