Scooter Braun finds his very public feud with Taylor Swift — sparked in 2019 when he acquired the masters of her first six albums in a broad deal with her former record label, and worsened in 2020 when he sold them to a private equity company — more than a little upsetting.
"I regret and it makes me sad that Taylor had that reaction to the deal," Braun told Variety in an interview published Wednesday. "All of what happened has been very confusing and not based on anything factual. I don't know what story she was told. 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. It all seems very unfortunate. Open communication is important and can lead to understanding. She and I only met briefly three or four times in the past, and all our interactions were really friendly and kind. I find her to be an incredibly talented artist and wish her nothing but the best."
Swift told a much different story back in November, when she said that Braun was the one who wouldn't sell her back her own music.
"So I would have to sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work," she wrote at the time. "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. He would never even quote my team a price. These master recordings were not for sale to me."
Been getting a lot of questions about the recent sale of my old masters. I hope this clears things up. pic.twitter.com/sscKXp2ibD
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 16, 2020
The "Willow" singer has already begun to release re-recordings of her albums: "Taylor's Version" of Fearless came out in April, while the new Red drops in November.
Still, Braun, who's best known for discovering Justin Bieber and now manages artists including Ariana Grande, was especially bothered by the suggestion that he was treating Swift unkindly. She's accused him of "incessant, manipulative bullying."
"The thing that struck me the worst is the word 'bully.' I'm firmly against anyone ever being bullied," Braun said. "I always try to lead with appreciation and understanding. 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. That meant a lot to me. In the long run, I'm happy for my life's work to be the legacy I leave behind."
When Braun was asked if the Swift situation had "created misconceptions" about him, he said it had.
"And I think when you're successful, you are misunderstood. 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," Braun 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."
Yahoo Entertainment has reached out to Swift's team for comment.
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