How Taylor Swift Really Feels About the Scott Borchetta Beef

Taylor Swift
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for MTV

 Taylor Swift attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on Aug. 26, 2019 in Newark, N.J. 

"I’m not like him, making crazy, petty accusations about the past," Swift says about her former label boss in a new interview.

Taylor Swift has traditionally saved her most devastating flaming arrows for the studio, but in a new Rolling Stone cover story, the pop star unloads her full quiver on former Big Machine Label Group boss Scott Borchetta and his new business partner manager Scooter Braun, for what she claims are some serious betrayals.

Describing how the Reputation Tour -- which Swift calls the most "transformative emotional experience" of her career -- put her in the healthiest, most balanced place she's ever been in, the singer-songwriter says that the dust-up with Borchetta would have "leveled me and silenced me" if it had happened three years ago. 

"I would have been too afraid to speak up," she says of what she has described as the feeling of being blindsided by Borchetta's deal to sell his label group -- including the masters to Swift's first six albums -- to the singer's professional frenemy Braun's Ithaca Holdings for a reported $300 million. "Something about that tour made me disengage from some part of public perception I used to hang my entire identity on, which I now know is incredibly unhealthy."

Swift notes that a lot of her best and most creative musical decisions of the past were things she had to "aggressively fight" for, which leads her to address her 15-year business relationship with Borchetta, who signed her as a teen. "I’m not like him, making crazy, petty accusations about the past," Swift, 29, says of the Big Machine head, without going into detail about what those accusations are.

"When you have a business relationship with someone for 15 years, there are going to be a lot of ups and a lot of downs," She explains. "But I truly, legitimately thought he looked at me as the daughter he never had. And so even though we had a lot of really bad times and creative differences, I was going to hang my hat on the good stuff. I wanted to be friends with him. I thought I knew what betrayal felt like, but this stuff that happened with him was a redefinition of betrayal for me, just because it felt like it was family. To go from feeling like you’re being looked at as a daughter to this grotesque feeling of 'Oh, I was actually his prized calf that he was fattening up to sell to the slaughterhouse that would pay the most.'"

She also looks to set the record straight about Borchetta's "unbelievable" claims that Swift declined to participate in the Parkland March For Our Lives -- she made a donation to the cause -- or in Braun client Ariana Grande's One Love Manchester benefit concert. "Here’s the thing: Everyone in my team knew if Scooter Braun brings us something, do not bring it to me," she said of the manager whose on-and-off relationship with Swift's frenemy Kanye West has made her wary of working with Braun; Swift also addresses her hot-and-cold relationship with West in the story.

"The fact that those two are in business together after the things he said about Scooter Braun -- it’s really hard to shock me. And this was utterly shocking. These are two very rich, very powerful men, using $300 million of other people’s money to purchase, like, the most feminine body of work," she says. "And then they’re standing in a wood-panel bar doing a tacky photo shoot, raising a glass of scotch to themselves. Because they pulled one over on me and got this done so sneakily that I didn’t even see it coming. And I couldn’t say anything about it."


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