Taylor Swift's Lawyer Says She Wasn't Given Opportunity to Buy Her Former Label or Masters Outright
It’s been a game of he-said, she-said when it comes to the ongoing drama between Taylor Swift, Scooter Braun and Big Machine Label head Scott Borchetta, who first signed the superstar when she was a teen.
Now, the singer is doubling down on claims she made via a Tumblr post that she “wasn’t given an opportunity to buy” her “life’s work.”
“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,” her lawyer Donald Passman tells PEOPLE in a statement.
On Wednesday, a source told Variety that Swift had to sign a deal that would bind her to Big Machine or its new owner for another 10 years in order to buy her masters or the label.
Big Machine Label declined to comment, and neither Swift nor Borchetta have commented further about their negotiations last year.
Hours after Swift said she was “grossed out” by Braun’s acquisition of Big Machine Label Group and her catalog, Borchetta, who worked with Swift from 2006 until she left Big Machine for Universal Music Group late last year, responded with his own lengthy statement on the label’s website, essentially accusing Swift of bending the truth.
In his letter, Borchetta 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.”
“We were working together on a new type of deal for our new streaming world that was not necessarily tied to ‘albums’ but more of a length of time,” he added.
In her Tumblr post, the Grammy winner, 29, said the deal she was offered involved earning one album back for each “new one I turned in.”
“I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future,” she added. “I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past.”
“Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it,” she wrote. “This is my worst case scenario.”
Swift added of Borchetta, “This is what happens when you sign a deal at 15 to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says ‘Music has value,’ he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.”