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Cohen testifies against former manager in harassment case

By | Published on Tuesday 10 April 2012

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen was in court last week to give evidence against his former manager Kelley Lynch, who he fired in 2004 amidst allegations she had stolen much of his five million dollar fortune, leaving him facing bankruptcy. Cohen subsequently successfully sued Lynch, though has struggled to claim the $9 million in damages the courts awarded him.

Lynch now faces criminal charges of harassing various people, including Cohen, and of violating previous restraining orders issued against her. In court the singer, who once had a brief romantic relationship with Lynch, said his former manager started bombarding him with long and rambling voicemail messages and emails shortly after he fired her, and that they subsequently increased in number, and sometimes included violent threats.

At one point Lynch was sending him 20 to 30 messages a day, including ten minute long voicemails and 50 page long emails. In some, the former manager said the singer “needed to be taken down and shot”, while others accused Cohen of drug addiction.

Said the singer: “Ms Lynch routinely accused me of being a drug addict and many other things. Of course I didn’t like it, and I felt my reputation was being assailed, and the reputation of my family”. Regards the death threats he continued: “It makes me feel very conscious about my surroundings. Every time I see a car slow down, I get worried”.

Cohen, of course, has returned to touring after losing his fortune to Lynch, and enjoyed something of a revival of his career in the process. Lynch is currently being held in custody as the criminal case against her goes through the motions.