Taylor Swift Says 3 Years Ago She 'Would Have Been Too Afraid' to Address Big Machine Drama
Earlier this year, Scooter Braun acquired Scott Borchetta's Big Machine Label Group — including all of Taylor Swift's masters
In late June, the musician wrote a scathing note following the announcement of Braun and Scott Borchetta’s $300 million deal that saw Braun take control of Swift’s masters with Big Machine Label Group. In the Tumblr post, Swift accused the manager of “manipulative bullying” over the years, and the weeks following became a game of he-said, she-said between the singer, Braun, and Borchetta, who first signed the superstar when she was a teen.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the 29-year-old singer explained that her recent Reputation tour put her in “the healthiest, most balanced place” she’d ever been — preparing her to take on the Big Machine drama.
“After that tour, bad stuff can happen to me, but it doesn’t level me anymore,” Swift shared. “The stuff that happened a couple of months ago with Scott would have leveled me three years ago and silenced me. I would have been too afraid to speak up. Something about that tour made me disengage from some part of public perception I used to hang my entire identity on, which I now know is incredibly unhealthy.”
Swift also told Rolling Stone that many of the “best things [she] ever did creatively” at Big Machine happened after she had to “aggressively fight” for them.
“But, you know, I’m not like [Borchetta], making crazy, petty accusations about the past,” she said. “When you have a business relationship with someone for 15 years, there are going to be a lot of ups and a lot of downs. But I truly, legitimately thought he looked at me as the daughter he never had. And so even though we had a lot of really bad times and creative differences, I was going to hang my hat on the good stuff.”
“I wanted to be friends with him,” she continued. “I thought I knew what betrayal felt like, but this stuff that happened with him was a redefinition of betrayal for me, just because it felt like it was family. To go from feeling like you’re being looked at as a daughter to this grotesque feeling of ‘Oh, I was actually his prized calf that he was fattening up to sell to the slaughterhouse that would pay the most.'”
At one point during their back and forth, Borchetta alleged that Swift had declined to participate in events including Braun client Ariana Grande‘s Manchester One Love concert — which raised funds for the victims of the May 2017 terrorist attack outside her concert — and the March for Our Lives, which was organized and led by the students and survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
“Unbelievable,” Swift told Rolling Stone of the accusations. “Here’s the thing: Everyone in my team knew if Scooter Braun brings us something, do not bring it to me.”
“The fact that those two are in business together after the things he said about Scooter Braun — it’s really hard to shock me. And this was utterly shocking,” she said. “These are two very rich, very powerful men, using $300 million of other people’s money to purchase, like, the most feminine body of work. And then they’re standing in a wood-panel bar doing a tacky photo shoot, raising a glass of scotch to themselves. Because they pulled one over on me and got this done so sneakily that I didn’t even see it coming. And I couldn’t say anything about it.”
Borchetta, 57, previously claimed the deal he offered Swift gave her “100% of all Taylor Swift assets … to be transferred to her immediately upon signing the new agreement.”
However, Swift’s lawyer Donald Passman told PEOPLE in a statement: “Scott Borchetta never gave Taylor Swift an opportunity to purchase her masters, or the label, outright with a check in the way he is now apparently doing for others.”