Leonard Cohen Takes The Stand

Leonard Cohen has taken the stand in a case involving his ex-business manager, who allegedly has sent Cohen threatening messages for several years.

Cohen was the first witness for the prosecution in a trial at L.A. County Superior Court.

Kelley Lynch is on trial for allegedly making harassing phone calls to Cohen, and sending him and his attorneys, among others, thousands of emails, violating restraining orders.

Cohen said he and Lynch had a business and personal relationship for about 17 years, including a “brief” intimate relationship, according to the Los Angeles Times. He fired her in 2004 and sued her in 2005, accusing her of stealing $5 million while he was in a Zen monastery. A judge ordered a default judgment of $9.5 million.

That’s about the time when Lynch began calling and emailing him, Cohen said.

“It started with just a few now and then, but it eventually accelerated to 20 or 30 a day,” he said.

Prosecutors played a message allegedly from Lynch: “You are a sick man,” it said. “You are a thief. … You are a common thief.”

The messages were up to 10 minutes long, Cohen reportedly said, and one of the threats was that he “needed to be taken down and shot.”

“It makes me feel very conscious about my surroundings,” Cohen said, according to the Times. “Every time I see a car slow down, I get worried.”
He said he has been concerned for the safety of his family, and that some emails were often 50 pages long.

In opening statements, public defender Michael Kelly, representing Lynch, said the case is “very much about relationships and how relationships oftentimes get messy” but suggested it was Cohen’s attorneys who have done everything they could to besmirch Lynch, blaming her for Cohen’s financial problems, the Times said.

“Her name is not Leonard Cohen,” Kelly said. “She’s not a celebrity. She’s not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame … so she’s at a disadvantage here.”
Lynch is being held in lieu of $25,000 bail.