Leonard Cohen slams former manager, lover

Leonard Cohen has testified against his former manager and lover in court. Photo / Supplied
Leonard Cohen has testified against his former manager and lover in court. Photo / Supplied

Legendary singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen lashed out in court Monday at his former manager and lover, on trial accused of harassing him and violating restraining orders, the LA Times reported.

Cohen fired Kelley Lynch - with whom he had a professional and briefly intimate personal relationship over 17 years - in 2004, accusing her stealing some $5 million from him while he lived in a monastery near Los Angeles.

He sued her in 2005, and a judge ordered her to pay him $9.5 million - 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 harrassing Cohen and others with phone calls and emails, and today the singer testified against her.

Voice mails that prosecutors say are from Lynch, 55, were played in court.

Cohen testified that they mentioned the Aryan Nations and accused Cohen of using drugs.

"It's not a pleasant sensation," said 77-year-old Cohen, the prosecution's first witness, cited by the LA Times.

"Ms Lynch routinely accused me of being a drug addict and many other things. Of course I didn't like it, and I felt my reputation was being assailed and the reputation of my family," he added.

Following the 2005 lawsuit and with his finances in disarray, Cohen - who admitted he had had a "brief" intimate relationship with Lynch - 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 US$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.

- AFP

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