Leonard Cohen's ex manager found guilty

2012-04-13 14:48

Los Angeles - Leonard Cohen's ex-manager was found guilty on Thursday of harassing the veteran singer, after a week-long trial in which hundreds of expletive-laced messages were read out in court.

Kelley Lynch, who had a 17-year professional relationship with the singer and was briefly his lover, was also convicted of breaching restraining orders against contacting him, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Cohen fired Kelley Lynch in 2004, accusing her stealing some $5m from him while he lived in a monastery near Los Angeles, forcing him to go back on the road despite being over 70 years old.

Voice-mails and e-mails

He sued her in 2005, and a judge ordered her to pay him $9.5m. But the veteran singer - whose hits include Suzanne and Hallelujah - came out of retirement in part to rebuild his finances.

Lynch has been on trial in Los Angeles Superior Court since last week on charges of harassing Cohen, who testified in court that she "routinely accused me of being a drug addict and many other things".

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 white supremacist 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.

Resurrecting his career

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", according to the LA Times.

She will be sentenced next week, the newspaper said.