Cohen’s former manager jailed

By | Published on Thursday 19 April 2012

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen’s former manager was jailed for eighteen months yesterday after being found guilty last week of various harassment charges.

As previously reported, Cohen fired Kelley Lynch in 2004 amidst allegations she had stolen all of his money, leaving him on the brink of bankruptcy, and forcing him to begin touring again prolifically to raise new funds. Lynch has seemingly been harassing Cohen via regular emails and voicemails, some very lengthy, others threatening, ever since. The legal implications of that harassment became more serious once she began flouting various restraining orders.

Lynch will serve eighteen months in prison as part of a five year sentence, during which time she will have to take part in various alcohol and anger management programmes. At the end of eighteen months she will undergo mental evaluation, and the authorities will then decide next steps.

Cohen issued a statement in which he thanked Lynch for insisting on a jury trial for this case, believing that gave him a more public platform to prove the problems the defendant caused him both before and after her firing. No criminal charges were ever pressed over the allegations Lynch stole from Cohen, so that previous dispute was only ever heard in the civil courts.

Cohen said in his statement: “I want to thank the defendant, Ms Kelley Lynch, for insisting on a jury trial, thus exposing to the light of day her massive depletion of my retirement savings and yearly earnings, and allowing the court to observe her profoundly unwholesome, obscene and relentless strategies to escape the consequences of her wrongdoing”.

He continued: “The eight year ordeal of harassment of my family, my friends, my associates, and myself was designed specifically to avoid or postpone the inevitable day of reckoning with the IRS, the day when she will be bound to account for the taxes she has neglected to pay on the stolen monies that she received and failed to report”.

“It gives me no pleasure to see my one-time friend shackled to a chair in a court of law, her considerable gifts bent to the service of darkness, deceit and revenge. I fear that her obsessive commitment to these activities as soon as Ms Lynch is released, therefore I will be grateful for whatever respite the court will allow my children, my grandchildren, my friends and associates, and myself”.

During the trial, Lynch’s defence lawyer argued that, while he conceded his client had been a nuisance, he felt the scale of harassment had been exaggerated, and that this should not really be a matter for the criminal justice system. He also said it was relevant that Cohen had, only late in the day, admitted his relationship with Lynch had, for a time, been romantic as well as professional.