Content warning: this article includes accounts of sexual harssment and may be distressing for some readers.
The lawsuit was filed on Friday, June 2, at the Los Angeles Superior Court by a 24-year-old woman who is a former employee of New Frequency Management, the Los Angeles-based music management company which manages Oakenfold.
It contains allegations of harassment and workplace violations against two management companies run by Paul Stepanek – New Frequency Management and Stepanek Management – Paul Oakenfold, and multiple people identified only as John Doe.
The plaintiff, identified only as Jane Roe, began working for New Frequency management in October 2022 while she was 23-years-old and was assigned to Paul Oakenfold as a personal assistant at a rate of $20 an hour.
Oakenfold is accused of exposing himself and masturbating in front of her while they were alone in his house together on the first day they began working together.
Multiple other incidents are referenced. On November 18, 2022, Oakenfold is alleged to have masturbated in her presence four separate times. On another occasion, he is alleged to have masturbated in the passenger seat of the plaintiff’s vehicle while she drove him home from the post office. The full court filing can be read here.
The plaintiff reported the harassment to the company’s management and alleges that the response was being presented with an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and being prevented from returning to work until she signed it.
The lawsuit alleges that she eventually signed it “under duress” after “being forced to sign the NDA or be unable to work and support herself”.
After returning to work, she was no longer assigned to work with Oakenfold, but claims her hours were “dramatically reduced” before her employment was terminated in March, 2023, with the reason given as “lack of work”.
The lawsuit is seeking in excess of of $25,000 in damages for retaliation, harassment, discrimination, fauilure to prevent harassment and discrimination, and wrongful termination.
Paul Oakenfold, a star of the British dance music industry who has been nominated for a GRAMMY, is not currently listed on the ‘Roster’ section of New Frequency Management’s website.
Mixmag has reached out to Paul Oakenfold, New Frequency Management and Paul Stepanek Management for comment.
AFEM sponsor a confidential support service for anyone affected by sexual harassment within the Electronic Music Industry Health Assured provide the service to ensure confidential expert counselling A safe and supportive environment for anyone who has been affected and needs guidance and support Call 0800 030 5182, (Outside the UK: +44 800 030 5182) where trained experts will listen and support.
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Written by: Tim Hopkins