Cohen Sues Ex-Manager

Leonard Cohen has filed suit against his former manager, claiming she systematically removed at least $5 million from his nest egg, leaving him with about $150,000 in retirement funds.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty against longtime manager Kelley Lynch. Tax lawyer Richard Westin is also named as a defendant. It comes on the heels of a suit filed against Cohen by his financial adviser who claims the rock poet tried to extort him to put money into his retirement portfolio.

Apparently, all parties involved have been trying to keep the case out of the press, according to Canadian magazine Maclean’s, which documented the goings on at length. The 70-year-old Cohen, a Zen Buddhist and Canadian icon, claims he trusted Lynch with his financial dealings only to discover funds depleted after his daughter was tipped off by the boyfriend of a Lynch employee.

The musician told the magazine he looked into the matter and found Lynch had linked her American Express bill to his personal checking account. Eventually, accountants told him about $8.4 million had disappeared from his holdings over time.

At first, he wanted to walk away from the matter and do nothing, Cohen told Maclean’s.

“I said, ‘Let me start again. Let me start fresh at 70. I can cobble together a little nest egg again,'” he said.

But Cohen apparently learned that he was legally responsible for the missing funds and the taxes on them, amounting to millions in U.S. dollars.

Lynch denied wrongdoing and told the magazine she would file her own complaint against Cohen, adding that her phone had been disconnected because she couldn’t pay the bill.

Meanwhile, Cohen is facing charges from longtime financial adviser Neal Greenberg. According to Greenberg’s defamation lawsuit, Cohen and his attorney attempted to ruin the adviser’s reputation and pressured him into going after his own insurance company to get money lost from Cohen’s account.

Greenberg’s lawsuit claims Cohen used Lynch to go after the adviser, offering a slice of the money as her reward. The suit reportedly paints Cohen as living a lavish celebrity lifestyle while using his retirement funds (a company called Traditional Holdings) as a “personal piggy bank” despite Greenberg’s objections.