Photo by Lisa Brenner
Leonard Cohen's former business manager, Kelley Lynch, was found guilty by a Los Angeles jury on Thursday of harassing the hugely influential singer-songwriter. Lynch was found to have repeatedly violated a restraining order as well.
Cohen testified that he felt threatened by expletive-laden messages, the tone of Lynch's calls and emails, and the quantity of outreach attempts.
During the trial, Cohen, who worked with Lynch for 17 years, acknowledged that an intimate relationship briefly existed between them but said he'd severed all ties after millions of dollars went missing.
The woman's legal team claimed she never tried to confront him but was angry over being fired and felt Cohen had ruined her reputation.
Lynch, convicted of two counts of leaving or sending harassing or obscene messages and five counts of violating a restraining order, could face up to five years in prison for the misdemeanors.
Leonard Cohen performs in Geneva in 2008.
Legendary troubadour Leonard Cohen was first to take the stand in an ugly court battle with his former manager that has elements of thievery, harassment and failed romance.
On Friday, Cohen appeared in Los Angeles County Superior Court as the prosecution’s first witness against his onetime business manager, 55-year-old Kelley Lynch. The trial resumes this week.
According to the LA Times, Cohen testified that he and Lynch were business associates for 17 years, and briefly lovers, but that he fired her in 2004 for losing $5 million of his money and leaving him broke. A judge ordered Lynch to pay Cohen $9.5 million following a separate trial in the mid-2000s, which she reportedly has refused to pay.
It was after firing her, Cohen testified, that the calls and emails from Lynch started pouring in. Lynch is also charged with ignoring several restraining orders filed against her.