By Jessica Sager
Published July 03, 2019
“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,” Swift's lawyer, Donald Passman, told Page Six Tuesday.
On Sunday night, Swift, 29, posted a blistering blog slamming Borchetta for selling Big Machine, along with all six of her past albums' worth of masters, to Scooter Braun, whom she accused of "manipulative bullying" through his associations with former client Kanye West and West's wife, Kim Kardashian, who infamously recorded Swift and West's "snippet" of a phone call in which she appeared to give her blessing to the lyrics to his song "Famous."
"For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. Instead, I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in," Swift wrote. "I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums."
She added, "Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter. Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words 'Scooter Braun' escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn't want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever."
Swift also alleged that Borchetta never informed her of the deal and that she learned about it from the press.
Borchetta vehemently denied Swift's claims, writing on the Big Machine website that he and Swift "were working together on a new type of deal for our new streaming world" that wasn't determined by a number of albums, but a "length of time."
He also included a text he claims to have sent the singer the night before The Wall Street Journal published the first story about the new Big Machine deal. Swift's rep denied that she saw the text before the story went live.
Borchetta also published a portion of terms negotiated for her to purchase her masters, which she reportedly declined. "Taylor had every chance in the world to own not just her master recordings, but every video, photograph, everything associated to her career," he wrote. "She chose to leave." Sources told Variety that there were at least two offers to sell Swift her masters and that she declined both.
Borchetta said he and Swift were on good terms when she informed him she wanted to explore opportunities at other labels. She signed with Republic Records, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, in November 2018; Borchetta alleged that Swift texted him, rather amicably, minutes before her new deal went public.
Braun, meanwhile, has yet to publicly comment on any of Swift's allegations, though his wife and some of his clients, including Demi Lovato and Justin Bieber, have defended him through social media. Sources told Page Six that the SchoolBoy Records founder attempted to reach out to Swift privately through mutual friends in hopes of a "mature conversation," but was "ghosted" by the "ME!" singer.
Reps for Swift and Braun did not return Fox News' requests for comment.