- Scooter Braun told Variety that Taylor Swift’s reaction to him acquiring her music made him “sad.”
- “All of what happened has been very confusing and not based on anything factual,” he said.
- He claimed that he offered to sell Swift’s catalog back to her, “but her team refused.”
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The celebrity manager, whose clients include Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, was recently named music mogul of the year by Variety. In an interview published on Tuesday, he was asked about his 2019 acquisition of Big Machine Records, which included the rights to Swift’s first six albums.
“I regret and it makes me sad that Taylor had that reaction to the deal,” he said. “All of what happened has been very confusing and not based on anything factual. I don’t know what story she was told.”
Swift originally said she was “sad and grossed out” by Braun’s ownership of her music and accused him of “incessant, manipulative bullying.”
Just 17 months later, Braun sold Swift’s master recordings to a private-equity company called Shamrock Holdings.
In response, Swift said she tried to enter negotiations with Braun but that his team required her to sign “an ironclad NDA” before she could even place a bid.
“My legal team said that this is absolutely NOT normal, and they’ve never seen an NDA like this presented unless it was to silence an assault accuser by paying them off,” she wrote. “He would never even quote my team a price. These master recordings were not for sale to me.”
Braun did not exactly refute these claims. He acknowledged that his negotiations required Swift to sign a non-disclosure agreement, but did not clarify the terms he offered.
“I asked for her to sit down with me several times, but she refused. I offered to sell her the catalog back and went under NDA, but her team refused,” he said. “It all seems very unfortunate.”
Braun did, however, specifically object to Swift’s use of the label “bully.”
“I’m firmly against anyone ever being bullied. I always try to lead with appreciation and understanding,” he told Variety. “The one thing I’m proudest of in that moment was that my artists and team stood by me. They know my character and my truth.”
Braun said Swift’s accusations have created misconceptions about him, but also said that being “misunderstood” usually comes with being “successful.”
“Success is a game of chess, and sometimes on that chessboard, people don’t see what you’re doing until four or five moves in,” he said. “There’s always going to be misconceptions because people want to see things the way they want to see them. But it would be really nice if we all give each other a little bit of grace.”
Braun previously said his family received “numerous death threats” after Swift accused him of blocking her performance at the 2019 American Music Awards. He also claimed that several requests for an “open discussion” with Swift “have all been rejected.”
For her part, Swift has made a point to condemn “toxic male privilege” in the music industry and is currently in the process of rerecording her first six albums.