Published Apr 09, 2012Leonard Cohen released Old Ideas earlier this year, but rather than focusing on promoting his latest album, the 77-year-old songwriting legend is embroiled in something altogether more unpleasant: a harassment case against his former business manager, Kelley Lynch.
On Friday (April 6), Cohen testified in Los Angeles County Superior Court, explaining that he and Lynch were associates for 17 years and even briefly had a romantic relationship. Cohen eventually fired her in 2004, and that's when the harassing emails and phone calls allegedly began.
"It started with just a few now and then, but it eventually accelerated to 20 or 30 a day," Cohen said [via Los Angeles Times].
Cohen added that he received threatening voicemails, saying things like "You are a sick man," and that he "needed to be taken down and shot."
The songwriter said he fears for the safety of himself and his family members, and claimed that the emails were as long as 50 pages, while the voicemails were up to ten minutes. In Kelley's alleged harassment of Cohen, she has also violated restraining orders to keep away from the songwriter.
"It makes me feel very conscious about my surroundings. Every time I see a car slow down, I get worried," Cohen said. "My sense of alarm has increased over the years as the volume of emails has increased."
The 55-year-old Lynch has pled not guilty, claiming that the emails concerned legitimate questions like tax information.
Cohen also sued Lynch in 2005 for stealing millions of dollars from him. The songwriter was awarded $9.5 million in that case.