Taylor Swift is locked in a bitter battle with her old record company — but a bombshell new report says all is not what it seems.
Taylor Swift knew for months the rights to her old songs — and her former record label Big Machine — were up for sale but didn’t do anything about it, a source tells Page Six.
The outlet reports Swift was offered the opportunity to buy her master recordings but “walked away” from the songs in October 2018 after a 10-month negotiation over the sale of her old record label Big Machine Records to mega manager Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings.
“In the entire time of negotiations, she never once reached out about wanting her masters,” our source said.
However, Swift’s lawyer denied these reports in a statement provided to Variety today: “Scott Borchetta never gave Taylor Swift an opportunity to purchase her masters, or the label, outright with a cheque in the way he is now apparently doing for others,” the statement read.
“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work,” Swift wrote. “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.
“I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, (former Big Machine owner) Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future.”
The 29-year-old singer said Braun acquiring her catalogue — from her 2006 self-titled debut album through 2017’s Reputation — was a “worst case scenario”.
Following Swift’s post, Borchetta published online text messages allegedly sent by Swift on November 19, 2018 in which she appeared to say a new deal with a different label meant “more to me” than owning her masters.
“Since communication ran dry on our negotiations, I’ve done what I told you I would do and gone out exploring other options,” Swift allegedly wrote to Borchetta about signing with Universal Music Group. “Owning my masters was very important to me, but I’ve since realised that there are things that mean even more to me in the bigger picture. I had a choice whether to bet on my past or to bet on the future, and I think knowing me, you can guess which one I chose.”
We’re told Braun was under a nondisclosure agreement throughout the negotiations, which meant Swift wasn’t aware Braun and his company were the ones lining up to buy the label.
“She decided to walk away,” the source said. “In the 10 months since, she hasn’t reached out once, so how passionate could she have been about them?
“She got caught crying wolf again,” the source said, referring to the time Kim Kardashian published videos of Swift appearing to give her consent to Kanye West about a lyric on his song Famous. Swift had claimed she had never given her approval, though in the videos, she apparently told West the rap about her is “like a compliment”.
At the time, a representative for the pop star said Swift “warned (West) of the misogynistic message”.
“Kanye did not tell Taylor he was going to call her ‘that bitch’,” she said.
Page Six confirmed as soon as the NDA was up — when the report that Braun acquired the label was published — Braun reached out to Swift and her camp numerous times to privately discuss the deal. Swift hasn’t contacted Braun and “ghosted” him, we’re told.
Braun’s purchase of Big Machine Records, which also includes A-list music talent such as Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum and Thomas Rhett, wasn’t solely about Swift.
“(Braun has) been nothing but supportive of her career and one of her biggest fans,” our source said. “You don’t make a $300 million bet if you don’t want to win.”
A representative for Swift didn’t return numerous requests for comment.
This story originally appeared on Page Six and was reproduced with permission