Leonard Cohen Testimony In Kelley Lynch Harassment Trial Covered By Music Press

Update: Coverage of this issue now also includes

Leonard Cohen Testifies On Two Days Of Trial

Coverage of Leonard Cohen’s testimony April 6 & 9, 2012 in the L.A. County Superior Court trial of Kelley Lynch (on left in above photo), accused of making harassing phone calls to Cohen and sending  thousands of emails attacking him and others associated with him, and violating restraining orders, has been extensive.

These excerpts from Leonard Cohen Testifies In Ex-Business Manager’s Harassment Trial by Hailey Branson-Potts (Los Angeles Times April 7, 2012) deal with the April 6, 2012 court session:

Cohen … testified that he and Lynch had a business and personal relationship for about 17 years. At one point, he said, they had a “brief” intimate relationship. He said he fired her as his business manager in 2004. As soon as he dismissed Lynch, she began calling and emailing him, Cohen said.

“It started with just a few now and then, but it eventually accelerated to 20 or 30 a day,” said the 77-year-old singer, who is known for such hits as “Suzanne” and “Hallelujah.” The voice mail messages, Cohen said, were up to 10 minutes long. The caller leveled accusations and threats at him and said he “needed to be taken down and shot.”

“It makes me feel very conscious about my surroundings,” Cohen said. “Every time I see a car slow down, I get worried.”

For years, Cohen said, he’s been concerned for the safety of his family members, some of whom had a close relationship with Lynch.

Emails allegedly from Lynch were often 50 pages long, Cohen said.

“My sense of alarm has increased over the years as the volume of emails has increased,” he said.

The LA Times also carried the story of the April 9, 2012 court session: Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen testifies about harassing voice mails by Hailey Branson-Potts. Excerpts follow:

Singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen took the stand again Monday in the trial of his former business manager, who has been accused of making harassing phone calls and sending him and others thousands of emails. …

Cohen … testified that several voice mails and emails from Lynch mentioned the Aryan Nations and accused Cohen of using drugs. He said Lynch sent emails about him to numerous people, including many he did not know.

“It’s not a pleasant sensation,” Cohen said. “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.” …

In his opening statements Friday, Michael Kelly, a public defender representing Lynch, said the case “is very much about relationships and how relationships oftentimes get messy.”

Lynch is being held at Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Other Coverage – “Massively Creepy,” “Death Threats” “Uncomfortable Emails”

As far as I can determine, the only facts about the trial available online are those found in the LA Times articles noted above. Other publications appear to have used the same sources, sometimes with attribution, sometimes without.

Stereogum headlined its summary of  the same LA Times article, Leonard Cohen Testifies Against Massively Creepy Former Business Manager

NME headed their story Leonard Cohen tells court of former manager’s ‘death threats.’ I am uncertain why the phrase “death threats” is placed in quotes since those markings in such a context often indicate doubt about the accuracy of  the words. Given that Cohen testified that Lynch said he “needed to be taken down and shot,” the term “death threats” seems warranted.

Pitchfork, in Leonard Cohen Testifies Against Former Business Manager Accused of Harassment, also goes with the “very creepy” characterization of Lynch, but then plays down the behavior by describing the charges against her as allegedly making “disturbing phone calls to Cohen” and sending “thousands of uncomfortable emails to him and his attorney.” [emphasis mine]  The article goes on to point out that “Lynch has pleaded not guilty. Her lawyer, Michael Kelly, said the emails were ‘legitimate,’ and accused Cohen and his lawyers of attacking her credibility.”

Spinner references the Pitchfork article but goes with the headline Leonard Cohen Death Threats: Singer Accuses Former Manager of Harassment.

Contact Music headed their story Leonard Cohen Tells Court Ex-Partner Lied About Drug Use.

At the American Songwriter site, Leonard Cohen Testifies Against Former Manager In Ugly Suit ends with the tag line “Next Leonard Cohen album: Songs from a (Court) Room?”

KPCC wins the snarky title award with Irk of a ladies’ man: Leonard Cohen harassment trial continues.

The National Post’s Arts page yesterday featured Leonard Cohen testifies against ex-business manager charged with harassment while AsiaOne Showbiz printed Leonard Cohen accuses ex manager in court.

Credit Due Department: Photo by Joe Wolf.

5 Replies to “Leonard Cohen Testimony In Kelley Lynch Harassment Trial Covered By Music Press”

  1. Adrian

    When I first saw the American Songwriter headline I was incredulous: “Leonard Cohen Testifies Against Former Manager In Ugly Suit”.

    Turns out the piece has nothing to do with Mr. Cohen’s attire, which is known to be impeccably cool in any style. But, sadly, the word “ugly” does well suit matters being dealt with now before the courts. May there be some resolution and peace to come for all in the matter.

  2. R. Severson

    Once again an absolute ” Untermensch ” stalker has made one of the greatest Poet/singer/songwriter in history a living hell seems to me…
    I hope they really and throw the book at that bitch…
    Hang in there Leonard, justice will prevail…

    R. Severson
    Seattle, Wa

  3. Paula

    A good few years ago Kelley Lynch sent some forum members, myself included, a rambling email, which did give the impression she was a sandwich short of a picnic.

    But I actually think in the long run she has done Leonard and us a massive favour. If she had not stolen the money Leonard would not have had to embark on his tours, we would not have had the benefit of seeing him and he would not have had the benefit of getting all these accolades which he so richly deserves. Everything happens for a reason and the domino affect of Kelley Lynch’s action has actually benefitted us all and that includes Leonard who lights up in front of an audience.

  4. Merna

    No Paula, not everything happens for a reason. Some wonderful people get cancer and die in great pain. Where is the reason in that? Cohen was forced to go back to work because he was broke. Consequently we were able to enjoy the result, but our enjoyment was not the reason the fraud was perpetrated.

    Of all the platitudes that want to explain the terrible things that happen in our world, “Everything happens for a reason” has got to be the worst one of all.

  5. Denise

    I’ve known Leonard’s ‘excessively creepy’ stalker for almost 30 years and I am deeply saddened by all of this. In 1990 I spent a memorable weekend in New York with Kelley and Leonard and throughout the years I’d see Leonard occasionally and Kelley often. She was beautiful, sophisticated, kind, generous, outrageous and incredibly smart. Since 2004 I have received hundreds if not thousands of rambling emails from Kelley. Whether they were about Leonard, Niel Greenberg, Phil Specter or her ex-husband, Steve Lindsey, the emails were filled with threats, conspiracy theories and faulty logic. The Kelley I knew 30 years ago seems gone forever, and she truly was an exceptional person back then. To see her now; homeless, penniless, and so full of anger and rage, is heartbreaking. I hope that this period of incarceration allows Kelley time to reflect and dry out as she’s often called me drunk at 10:00 am. Insanity and alcohol are a dangerous combination.