A former Atlantic Records talent scout filed suit Monday, claiming the music label fostered a toxic environment that enabled her bosses to allegedly sexually harass and assault her decades ago.
Dorothy Carvello’s Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit also names parent company Warner Music Group and three former executives at Atlantic she claims assaulted her on multiple occasions when she worked there in the late 1980s.
“I’m seeking justice and by me coming forward I think it will help clean up the music business,” Carvello, 60, told The Post during an interview on Sunday.
Carvello, the first female A&R talent scout for Atlantic, according to her suit, began working at the record label in April 1987 when she was 24.
The lawsuit alleges that Atlantic’s co-founder Ahmet Ertegun, who died in 2006 at 83, would allegedly frequently grope Carvello and masturbate in front of her.
“It was also very common when Ms. Carvello was near Mr. Ertegun in his office that he would grab her [Carvello] between her legs and grope her breasts,” the filing says.
“Mr. Ertegun regularly masturbated in Ms. Carvello’s presence, often while dictating correspondence to her as she took notes.”
The suit describes a harrowing alleged incident where Ertegun “grabbed and squeezed Ms. Carvello’s breasts, clawed at the bike shorts she was wearing under her skirt and pulled them down to access her underwear, scratched the left side of her abdomen and caused her to bleed, violently attempted to remove her underwear, bruised her, and exposed her vagina to all and sundry.”
Carvello tried to fight off Ertegun and also begged then-executive Jason Flom and others for help during the attacks, “but they simply looked on and laughed,” the suit alleges.
The alleged abuse took place while Carvello worked at Atlantic between 1987 and 1990. She was promoted to Atlantic’s A&R — or artists and repertoire — division in 1988.
The former music industry worker was able to bring the case under New York’s recently enacted Adult Survivors Act, which allows adult victims of sexual abuse to file suit during a one-year period – regardless of whether the alleged incidents occurred outside of the statute of limitations.
“I am committed to cleaning up the music business by making it a safe environment – for all employees — men and women,” Carvello told The Post. “Especially female artists who are assigned to these labels, that they are comfortable in the recording studios and the have a forum to speak out, without the retaliation.”
Carvello’s attorney Camille Vasquez, of Brown Rudnick, told The Post it was an “honor” to represent her.
“I am so grateful for the state of New York for passing this law and make it possible for survivors like Dorothy to seek justice against their abusers,” Vasquez said.
The Warner Music Group, Atlantic Records, Ertegun’s estate, Flom and the third named former executive, Doug Morris, didn’t return requests for comment from The Post Monday.