The Guardian's Esther Addley reports on the trial of Kelley Lynch, his former business-manager and lover who was convicted of stealing from him and leaving him penniless, who was ordered to pay $9.5M in restitution but didn't, and who then relentlessly stalked Cohen and harassed and threatened him. Lynch has been sentenced to 18 months in prison and 5 years probation for the stalking by a California judge.
Addley's account has Cohen behaving with admirable calm and dignity in the courtroom, even as his lawyers presented the jury with 10 binders full of threatening, crazy emails from his former manager. After the sentencing, Cohen cordially thanked the judge and even wished Lynch well, expressing his desire that she would "take refuge in the wisdom of her religion, that a spirit of understanding will convert her heart from hatred to remorse, from anger to kindness, from the deadly intoxication of revenge to the lowly practices of self-reform."
Cohen's post-ripoff story is remarkable. Penniless at nearly 70, Cohen moved into a Zen Buddhist monastery in California for five years, then emerged with a fantastic new album and a record-beating tour that netted him more than the $9.5M he was owed.
Addley's account of Cohen's courtroom behavior is just fabulous, a kind of parable about karmic justice and the power of positive emotion to trump life's miseries.
"I want to thank the court, in the person of your honour," Cohen told an LA county superior court judge, "for the cordial, even-handed and elegant manner in which these proceedings have unfolded. It was a privilege and an education to testify in this courtroom..."
"'Cohen is going to be hung,'" the singer drily told jurors at one point, "is not agreeable to hear..."
"I want to thank the defendant Ms Kelley Lynch for insisting on a jury trial, thus... allowing the court to observe her profoundly unwholesome, obscene and relentless strategies to escape the consequences of her wrongdoing," he said.
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I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.