Los Angeles - Leonard Cohen told on Tuesday how he "trusted" his ex manager and former lover before they fell out spectacularly, as colourful and expletive-laden messages from her were revealed in court.
The singer-songwriter, testifying at the trial of Kelley Lynch on charges of harassment, said the pair were intimate on and off for a time during their 17-year professional relationship, which ended when he fired her in 2004.
"I hired her to be my business manager in 1988 or 1989, to take care of all the business (...) I trusted her," the 77-year-old star said on the third day of a trial at the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
"There was an intimate relationship, yes. It involved a sexual relationship, yes," he said, adding: "I don't remember the time when it ended. Like many relationships it just dissolved."
Cohen fired Kelley Lynch in 2004, accusing her stealing some $5m from him while he lived in a monastery near Los Angeles.
He sued her in 2005, and a judge ordered her to pay him $9.5m - although the veteran singer, whose hits include Suzanne and Halleluhah - came out of retirement in part to rebuild his finances.
She has been on trial in Los Angeles Superior Court since last week on charges of harassing Cohen and others with phone calls and e-mails, and on Monday the singer testified against her.
Voice-mails and e-mails that prosecutors say are from Lynch, 55, have been played in court for the last two days. Cohen testified that they mentioned the Aryan Nations and accused Cohen of using drugs.
"Leonard Norman Cohen should be taken before a firing squad and shot," she was quoted as saying in one e-mail, read out by the singer himself at the request of the judge.
In often expletive-laden language - and mentioning other music figures including Phil Spector and Bob Dylan - she also accused him of being a thief, greedy and a drug addict, while casting aspersions on his sexual performance.
Following the 2005 lawsuit and with his finances in disarray, Cohen returned to performing in 2008 after a 15 year gap. He has since continued to tour with great success, resurrecting his career and reputation worldwide.
Lynch is in custody in lieu of $25 000 bail. Her lawyer, Michael Kelly, said last week that the case "is very much about relationships and how relationships oftentimes get messy", said the LA Times.
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