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"Our leadership has convinced me that it is in everyone's best interest for me to give up my right to litigate for defamation and to forgo my ability to vindicate myself, as well as the organization, through due process."
——Mike Greene, NARAS
NARAS CHIEF ON THE DEFENSIVE
Denies Charges, Explains Settlement, Moves Forward
Now it's Mike's turn.

NARAS boss Mike Greene offered his defense today, issuing an explanation for the decision to settle the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the org's human resources exec Jill Geimer, despite his claims of innocence.

Greene issued a statement to the press defending himself against the charges and explaining the reason for the settlement: "Our leadership has convinced me that it is in everyone's best interest for me to give up my right to litigate for defamation and to forgo my ability to vindicate myself, as well as the organization, through due process. "

Gloria Allred, Geimer's lawyer, dismissed Greene's statement, telling the L.A. Times it was "obviously self-serving and, in our opinion, a pathetic attempt to try to salvage his reputation."

The settlement with Geimer was for a reported $650k. The NARAS board launched a probe into her allegations, with Academy counsel Chuck Ortner investigating (hitsdailydouble.com, Nov.1). An external inquiry conducted by an outside firm is reported to begin next week. Greene has maintained his innocence in the matter.

Grammy Chairman Garth Fundis refuted news stories suggesting Greene's removal was imminent: "Unless and until we are presented with evidence of misconduct, Mr. Greene deserves the support of the board of trustees, the officers and the membership of the recording academy."

While the label heads have remained quiet about the latest charges, some are questioning why Greene continues to stonewall any further investigation, with some even suggesting that it smacks of a cover-up.

With Grammy submissions right around the corner, no one will speak out publicly against Greene for fear of reprisal, though RIAA boss Hilary Rosen told the Times: "I'm sure the Grammy board knows that everybody in the music community is watching this. I'm confident that the board is taking this investigation very seriously."

According to the Times, Greene will pay nearly half of the settlement, with sexual misconduct liability insurance covering most of the other half and NARAS kicking in $50k. Greene has reportedly been the subject of several other sexual harassment allegations, settling some out of court. A NARAS inquiry found he had not committed any improprieties.

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