Content Warning: This article discusses sexual harassment. If you or someone you know is affected by the following story, you are not alone. To speak to someone, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
A weeks-long investigation into inappropriate behaviour has ended the three-decade career of a senior executive at Sony Music Australia.
As reported by Sydney Morning Herald‘s Nathanael Cooper, Tony Glover, vice-president of commercial music at Sony Music Australia, was fired on Thursday.
The investigation was launched in February after a staff member made an initial complaint.
Sony Australia’s vice president, Australian artist marketing Wayne Ringrow notified Sony staff in a late afternoon teleconference on Thursday.
59-year-old Tony Glover joined Sony Music when the company he was working with, BMG, merged with Sony in 2004. His various positions within the major label included heading up its talent management division before being promoted to vice president of the commercial music arm. He reported directly to Sony Music Australia’s Chairman and CEO Denis Handlin AM.
“It was common knowledge not to be alone with Tony when he was drunk, I never put myself in a position where I was alone with him,” one woman, who was managed by Glover, told SMH.
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Another said: “In 2012 at the ARIA after party at the casino upstairs, I was leaving and went to say goodbye to Tony… there were a bunch of people standing around him and on his lap was (a junior staff member), he had his arm wrapped around her and he was rubbing her ass and kissing her neck,” she said. “They were very clearly crossing the line in a very inappropriate way with many people watching.”
Glover denies he ever behaved inappropriately with the junior colleague: “We were close and I can remember her saying to me that I reminded her of her father and I was a guiding figure for her,” he said. “I always regarded that as a great relationship but certainly not of a romantic kind at all.”
One former staff member told SMH she raised concerns but that they were dismissed.
“I remember trying to speak to a more senior colleague and she said ‘this is the culture here, you will get used to it’,” she said. “I spoke to a few other friends there about it, other junior staff members, it was just so normal I was looked at strangely for raising questions about him.”
Another former Sony staffer, who SMH spoke to, said she was sexually harassed by Glover on two separate occasions.
“The first time it happened we were at an official work event and he was complimenting me, complimenting me with my work ethic and he was getting closer and closer. I could smell the alcohol on his breath,” she said.
“He put his hand on my lower back and it was getting lower and lower until it was on my ass. I made a really awkward move to go to the bathroom and just sat in there for a while and then left the event altogether.
“At a staff Christmas party, he did it again. It was never an obvious ass grab, it was always a touch of the back that eventually became your ass.”
SMH reports that despite the investigation including multiple cases of harassment that were found to be true, Glover denies ever touching staff members inappropriately.
“There’s me and there’s the complainants and I guess the amount of complainants outweighed my word,” he said.
“I had never been sanctioned before, (the investigation) was a complete surprise. I think I am a decent person, a loyal person.”
A Sony Music Australia spokesperson said: “Upon receiving complaints of alleged inappropriate behaviour, a Senior Counsel was immediately engaged to independently investigate the allegations. Following completion of the investigation, the company acted on the findings. Sony Music Australia can confirm that Tony Glover has been dismissed with immediate effect.”