Legendary music boss Reid out amid harassment reports

L.A. Reid, one of the music world’s top executives who helped launch the careers of myriad stars including Rihanna and Justin Bieber, has left Epic Records after reported harassment allegations.

The 60-year-old has been chairman and CEO since 2011 of Epic, a unit of Sony Music that has been home to some of the top artists in recent decades from Michael Jackson to Pearl Jam.

Sony Music late last week issued an unusually terse statement of just one line: “L.A. Reid will be leaving the company.”

The company offered no further comment. But reports Monday in music magazine Billboard and The New York Post said that Sony management terminated Reid after complaints of sexual harassment.

The New York Post, citing an unnamed source, said a female assistant told management of inappropriate remarks and physical advances by Reid including asking her to hug him in bed during a business trip.

A lawyer for Reid did not return a message seeking comment Monday. Reid on Twitter quoted novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”

Reid is considered one of music’s top tastemakers and last year released a memoir that recounted a who’s who of famous artists with whom he has worked.

Reid, who formerly headed labels Arista and Def Jam, became known in the late 1980s for producing a smooth pop sound for African American artists and jumpstarted the careers of TLC, Toni Braxton and Usher.

But his influence stretched across genres and he was famous for instinctively sensing who would become massive.

He signed Canadian rocker Avril Lavigne, R&B superstar Rihanna and, more recently, pop singer Meghan Trainor after hearing them audition briefly for him.

He also inked a contract with a teenage Justin Bieber and worked with Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez to revive their careers after their initial fame waned.

While mostly behind the scenes, British television viewers saw him for two seasons as a judge on singing contest “The X Factor,” an experience he later decried as lowering his artistic bar.

Reid’s exit marks a strikingly swift move after Sony endured public criticism for declining to respect singer Kesha’s requests to exit a contract.

Kesha has sued producer Dr. Luke, accusing him of raping her and tormenting her psychologically. He denies the charges and says she remains contractually bound to his Kemosabe Records, a Sony imprint.

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Trump revealed classified info to Russian FM, envoy: report

President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador to the United States during an Oval Office meeting last week, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The information disclosed by the US leader concerned the Islamic State group and had been provided by a partner of the United States, which had not given Washington authorization to share it with Moscow, the paper said.

Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies,” the Post quoted a US official as saying on condition of anonymity.

According to the official, the information Trump shared with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak carried one of the highest levels of classification used by US intelligence agencies.

The Post reported, citing unnamed officials, that “Trump went off script and began describing details about an Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.”

The paper said it was withholding details of the plot at the urging of US officials who are concerned it could jeopardize key intelligence capabilities.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The US Department of Homeland Security has said it is mulling the expansion of a ban on laptop computers in passenger cabins on jets originating in Europe.

A US ban is already in place for several countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Trump’s closed-door meeting with the Russian officials came a day after his surprise firing of FBI chief James Comey, whose agency is investigating whether the president’s campaign team colluded with a suspected Russian attempt to sway last year’s election in his favor.

The information at issue was not even widely shared within the US government, and Trump’s decision to share it with Moscow could endanger Washington’s partnership with the source.

Trump reportedly even revealed the city in which the intelligence was gathered — something seen as problematic, as it could allow Moscow to identify the partner nation.

Officials cited by the Post said the partner country had “access to the inner workings of the Islamic State.”

Top White House officials sought quickly to stem the damage after Trump’s meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak, the report said.

“If it’s true, it’s obviously disturbing,” senior Republican Senator John McCain told CNN, while cautioning: “Let’s wait and see what this was all about first.”

Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Twitter: “If true, this is a slap in the face to the intel community. Risking sources & methods is inexcusable, particularly with the Russians.”

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