Country music star Jimmie Allen's former manager accuses him of sexual assault and harassment
A woman accused country music star Jimmie Allen of sexual assault and harassment while she worked as his manager for two years, according to a federal lawsuit filed on Thursday.
The 25-year-old said she graduated college magna cum laude, and was hired by management group Wide Open Music as Allen's day-to-day manager, according to the complaint field in Tennessee.
The company allegedly knew Allen was a threat to female subordinates and didn't "protect her from, the extreme sexual harassment, abuse, grooming, and manipulation she would endure in order to keep her job," the lawsuit claimed.
Starting in May of 2020, "Allen sexually harassed Plaintiff openly and publicly by making comments about her status as a single female, her innocence, and how hot she looked," the civil action continued. "He did so from the stage, in front of the production crew and public audiences. During debriefings after performances, Allen would ask Plaintiff personal sexual questions, including whether she was a virgin."
She said that Allen sexually assaulted her after a March 2021 filming of "American Idol" while "she was incapacitated and incapable of giving consent," the lawsuit stated.
The woman went to a supervisor this past October and "disclosed that she had been raped and sexually abused, told him she could not put up with Allen’s abuse any longer" but rather "than reassign her," the company placed her on leave before firing her, according to her civil action.
Allen admitted to having a sexual relationship with the plaintiff but denied any 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. I acknowledge that we had a sexual relationship — one that lasted for nearly two years," Allen said in a statement.
"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."
The artist insists the lawsuit was only triggered by their breakup.
"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," according to the artist's statement. "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.”
The plaintiff's attorney Elizabeth Fegan disputed Allen's claim that the accuser asked for money. The lawsuit did not list a dollar amount sought by the plaintiff.
“The only ask we made of Allen and his legal counsel was to meet to discuss Allen’s behavior and resolution of our client’s claims. At no time did our client make a monetary demand," Fegan said in a statement.
"The response was a hard no, and colored with threats that his team would take steps to publicly tarnish my client. My client had no choice but to be proactive in protecting herself by filing the complaint.”
The lawsuit led to immediate fallout as Allen's label, BBR Music Group, said it was — for now at least — parting ways with the artist.
"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.
His reps at United Talent Agency (UTA) also said they were suspending their work with Allen.
“We have suspended our representation of Jimmie Allen due to the recent allegations against him, which we take seriously,” a company spokesperson said.
And Allen had been slated to perform at CMA Fest in Nashville next month. But a spokesperson for the Country Music Association told NBC News on Friday that Allen was no longer in the lineup, citing “allegations of sexual abuse by his former manager.”
Wide Open Music was also listed as a co-defendant and a company rep could not be immediately reached for comment.
Just three weeks ago, Allen and wife Alexis “Lexi” Allen filed for divorce as she’s pregnant with their third child.
They have daughters Naomi, 3, and Zara, 18 months and Allen is the father to son Aadyn, 8, from a previous relationship.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com