Today is Leonard’s 89th birthday…and the second year of silence

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MarieM
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Today is Leonard’s 89th birthday…and the second year of silence

Post by MarieM »

For some 18 years I had the pleasure and privilege of corresponding with Leonard. In 2011 he hired me to assist with certain aspects of his tour, his recordings and publications. After his passing, I continued to work for the estate. If he were here today, this is what I would tell him.
Happy birthday, Leonard. I miss you and the world misses your wisdom.

Today is particularly sad for me because it marks two years since I was advised by Sony that there would be no more postings on your website, social media or any other publications. I know there were plans for more books, tour albums, and a groundbreaking archival collection of your work. But everything came to a halt when Adam and Lorca sued Robert Kory. Leonard, I know how much you trusted Robert. Jarkko and I worked so closely with him for all these years. I could not let the last two years pass without trying to help recover your voice.

So Leonard, let me begin by telling you that I’m pleased to report that the public record in the court confirms the abiding trust and confidence you had in Robert Kory. I have spoken to Robert and asked him why he will not publicly respond to the vicious and unfounded articles that Adam had published wrongfully attacking Robert’s reputation. Leonard, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that Robert has declined to strike back at Adam and Lorca no matter how wrong they may be.

I am planning to release and summarize some the public materials, as I did for prior litigation. I am hoping this will serve two positive goals. First, your fan community needs to know the truth. Second, maybe it will influence those people controlling your legacy to allow your work to be released as you had planned.

Leonard, here is a video which explains Robert Kory’s innovative project to digitize your entire archive. This is a video by Robert de Young. It was submitted to the probate court to enhance the court’s understanding about the plan to repatriate your archives to your home country, Canada.

http://webheights.net/STARCHIVE.mp4
In the next few weeks, I will share more details here about the lawsuit and any updates.
Marie
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B4real
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Re: Today is Leonard’s 89th birthday…and the second year of silence

Post by B4real »

Hi Marie,
I had previously posted my birthday message in remembrance of Leonard in the Comments section here - https://www.leonardcohenforum.com/viewt ... 51#p380551 and saw you have now started another thread so thought I should post it here too.
Re: Remembering Leonard on his Birthday
Post by B4real » Wed Sep 20, 2023 11:35 pm
I wanted to acknowledge here that today 21st Sept would have been Leonard’s 89th birthday.
Having just said that, these lines he sang in 1967 from 3 takes of his song “The Middle of the Night” sprang to mind –

Your birthday travelled through me
Like a thread goes through a bead
And when the thread frayed and it parted
Why then I floated just like a seed ~ ~ ~

Indeed ....

Let's hope things can still be amicably sorted out soon with the disputes for all concerned.
It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to B4real ~ me
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LisaLCFan
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Re: Today is Leonard’s 89th birthday…and the second year of silence

Post by LisaLCFan »

May I please make a suggestion? I think that there should be two separate threads for what are two very separate topics being presented here: one exclusively for the recognition and celebration of Leonard's Birthday, and one for what Marie has shared with us. I know that everyone means well, and it is very generous of Marie to provide some insider insight into what most of us have only read about in the news, but I do not think that Leonard's birthday should be conflated with the unfortunate legal mess that exists surrounding Leonard's Estate.
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Re: Today is Leonard’s 89th birthday…and the second year of silence

Post by musicmania »

MarieM wrote: Thu Sep 21, 2023 4:57 am For some 18 years I had the pleasure and privilege of corresponding with Leonard. In 2011 he hired me to assist with certain aspects of his tour, his recordings and publications. After his passing, I continued to work for the estate. If he were here today, this is what I would tell him.
Happy birthday, Leonard. I miss you and the world misses your wisdom.

Today is particularly sad for me because it marks two years since I was advised by Sony that there would be no more postings on your website, social media or any other publications. I know there were plans for more books, tour albums, and a groundbreaking archival collection of your work. But everything came to a halt when Adam and Lorca sued Robert Kory. Leonard, I know how much you trusted Robert. Jarkko and I worked so closely with him for all these years. I could not let the last two years pass without trying to help recover your voice.

So Leonard, let me begin by telling you that I’m pleased to report that the public record in the court confirms the abiding trust and confidence you had in Robert Kory. I have spoken to Robert and asked him why he will not publicly respond to the vicious and unfounded articles that Adam had published wrongfully attacking Robert’s reputation. Leonard, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that Robert has declined to strike back at Adam and Lorca no matter how wrong they may be.

I am planning to release and summarize some the public materials, as I did for prior litigation. I am hoping this will serve two positive goals. First, your fan community needs to know the truth. Second, maybe it will influence those people controlling your legacy to allow your work to be released as you had planned.

Leonard, here is a video which explains Robert Kory’s innovative project to digitize your entire archive. This is a video by Robert de Young. It was submitted to the probate court to enhance the court’s understanding about the plan to repatriate your archives to your home country, Canada.

http://webheights.net/STARCHIVE.mp4
In the next few weeks, I will share more details here about the lawsuit and any updates.
Thank you for sharing this Marie. Much appreciated.
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mutti
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Re: Today is Leonard’s 89th birthday…and the second year of silence

Post by mutti »

Thank you Marie for sharing this information with us.
How awesome and wonderful you corresponded with Leonard for so many years and got to know him on so many levels. How fortunate and blessed you are!

We all appreciate all that you & Jarkko have done for us on this forum over the years.

I look forward to hearing more about the legal situation. It is most unfortunate this all happened and makes me sad.
It will be so good for Leonard's legacy to live on with the archives and more books or music if that is in the cards.

I do hope Adam & Lorca are doing well.

Thank you
Leslie 8)
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Re: Today is Leonard’s 89th birthday…and the second year of silence

Post by Geoffrey »

mutti wrote: Thu Sep 21, 2023 8:59 pm Thank you Marie . . .
We all appreciate all that you & Jarkko have done for us on this forum over the years.

Thank you
and the regular contributors who use time and energy almost every day to keep this site going - they are nothing!
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mutti
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Re: Today is Leonard’s 89th birthday…and the second year of silence

Post by mutti »

Thank you Geoffrey and all the people who keep this forum alive!
Leslie 8)
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Re: Today is Leonard’s 89th birthday…and the second year of silence

Post by Geoffrey »

mutti wrote: Thu Sep 21, 2023 11:54 pm Thank you Geoffrey and all the people who keep this forum alive!
no problem :)
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Re: Today is Leonard’s 89th birthday…and the second year of silence

Post by Maarten »

Marie

Thanks for the appropriate "letter" to Leonard and for the interesting video of Robert de Young. We appreciate you keeping us up to date about these matters.

All the best
Maarten

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MarieM
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Re: Today is Leonard’s 89th birthday…and the second year of silence

Post by MarieM »

My letter to Leonard continues below:
Leonard, you won’t be surprised to learn that entertainment journalism hasn’t improved since you’ve been gone. Variety declared that Reeve Chudd, the attorney who drew up your trust documents in 2005, was Robert Kory’s attorney. This isn’t even logical. When you hire someone to prepare your trust, they are YOUR attorney. They listen and take direction from you. Of course, Chudd had been your estate attorney for many years prior to 2005. This is just one of many obvious errors in the Variety article.

Unfortunately, when you revised your trust in July 2016 to change some bequests and create trusts for your grandchildren, Chudd made an error in drafting the new document. He accidently left out the paragraph contained in the prior documents that appointed a successor trustee, Robert Kory. Chudd added to the confusion by revising the documents after his error was discovered and after your passing.

All indications are that you intended Robert Kory to remain as your trustee. Your friend Robert Faggen said in an affidavit that you told him Robert Kory would be your trustee just weeks before your passing. Anjani also confirmed appointing her as co-trustee again had to be a “mistake.” Specifically, she said that you made no secret of the fact that you did not have confidence in Adam's or Lorca's abilities to manage your affairs or legacy.

However, it seemed that this issue of Chudd’s error was fairly inconsequential. Lorca and Adam hired a prominent trust and estate attorney, Andrew Katzenstein, in May 2017. After his investigation and meeting with Chudd, your children seemed to accept that you intended that Robert Kory continue to act as your trustee.

Did you know that Robert Kory has never charged your estate any trustee fees? Instead Robert has abided by the Management Agreement that you and he executed in July 2016 whereby it was agreed that Robert would receive 15% of “Artist’s Compensation” – the going rate for personal management services in the entertainment industry. Yet, in February 2022 Robert willing reduced his fees in an effort to reach a settlement with Lorca and Adam. In that settlement, it was agreed Robert committed no wrongdoing. Two weeks after signing the settlement, this lawsuit was filed.

Since your passing, Robert has overseen the release of the documentary, the acclaimed Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song, and your novel A Ballet of Lepers. The 1972 Tour album is ready for release. He has done his best to fulfill what he believes were your wishes. Ironically, Robert is now the same age you were when you first walked into his office with your legal troubles. You thanked Robert and Michelle Rice so profusely for all the help they provided you at that time. As Anjani said in her deposition, if you were alive today you would be appalled by this disregard of your intentions.

In “Famous Blue Raincoat” you wrote about keeping a record. From what Robert Kory has told me, your archives are unprecedented, in size, in scope and in quality. It cannot have been your intention to collect all this material, only for it to be locked away in some file cabinet. Robert is now retired but he continues to dedicate himself to protecting your legacy by repatriating your archives to Canada. It’s my hope that with these notes to you, we can reach the hearts of those who stand in the way of seeing your legacy find its proper home and justified acclaim.
More to come.
Marie
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Re: Today is Leonard’s 89th birthday…and the second year of silence

Post by its4inthemorning »

This is all is very interesting indeed, and it points to the wisdom of not jumping to conclusions based on what one hears in the media. Thanks so much for posting this, Marie.

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Re: Today is Leonard’s 89th birthday…and the second year of silence

Post by astranger »

I desperately hope this gets sorted out and we can relish in what may come from the archives.
Jake.........Durham, NC 11-3-09; Brooklyn, NY 12-20-12
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MarieM
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Re: Today is Leonard’s 89th birthday…and the second year of silence

Post by MarieM »

More of my thoughts to Leonard:
Leonard, even though you entered into a management agreement with Robert Kory just prior to your passing, in which you agreed that Robert should receive 15% artist’s compensation, your children have accused Kory of using the Leonard Cohen Family Trust as “his own personal piggy bank account.” Fortunately, this is a claim that can be objectively proven to be false.

Your independent account, CPA Michael Mesnick, declared in an affidavit that “Over the course of the eleven years that Mr. Kory and I worked with Leonard, Leonard’s net worth increased from near insolvency to well over $50 million. Mr. Kory was instrumental in this increase, and Leonard placed a considerable amount of trust in Mr. Kory and his judgment… The financial results show that, although it is somewhat unusual to place so much trust in one person, Mr. Kory was able to deliver excellent results at great financial savings to Leonard and his family.”

As you know, Mesnick did an audit in 2014 which showed that Kory provided personal management, business management and legal services (including litigation involving Kelley Lynch). Kory charged a total of 11.1% of your gross income for these services. According to Mesnick , the industry standard for these services is a total of 25% of gross income, 15% for personal management, 5% for business management and 5% for legal (excluding litigation). You knew that Mesnick’s conclusion was that Robert Kory “saved over $22 million during this period. This is a testament to Mr. Kory’s honesty and integrity.”

In addition, Kory hired Irwin Nachimson, a CPA, to audit the trust with respect to his fees only. Nachimson noted: “As has been recognized in the court documents and court filings, within the entertainment industry, business managers and business management firms are typically paid a fee of 15% to 30%, with the lower end of the range representing compensation paid to managers or firms working with a living artist. While living artists require promotion and management services for new music, touring and other activities to build their career, a deceased artist and its estate must rely on the manager to promote the artist’s brand.”

It will be no surprise to you, Leonard, that Mr. Nachimson concluded: “(T)he combined total of the professional fees incurred for all of the aforementioned services, including trustee fees, was 14.3%, which is 10% below what is customary in this industry for business management, legal, and personal management fees alone.”

In the time you have known Robert, you repeatedly talked about how generous he was to defer his fees until you got back on your feet. His attitude about his fees has been consistent. I can personally attest that Robert never saw your passing as a some kind financial windfall for himself. Over and over during these past seven years he has done nothing but reiterate to me a single purpose, to keep your music alive through the repatriation of your archives.
I know there is a sense that this is all none of our business. But as longtime, die-hard fans of Leonard, I think we have some skin in the game. When Leonard would end his shows saying, “Thank you for keeping my music alive,” he was talking to us. So please feel free to speak, comment, or ask questions.
Marie
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Geoffrey
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Re: Today is Leonard’s 89th birthday…and the second year of silence

Post by Geoffrey »

MarieM wrote:
>. . . please feel free to speak, comment, or ask questions.

hello marie. a simple comment concerning this paragraph:

>"Unfortunately, when you revised your trust in July 2016 to change some bequests and create trusts for your grandchildren, Chudd made an error in drafting the new document. He accidently left out the paragraph contained in the prior documents that appointed a successor trustee, Robert Kory. Chudd added to the confusion by revising the documents after his error was discovered and after your passing."

you later stated 'Chudd’s error was fairly inconsequential', although his incompetence did lead to some unnecessary legal arguments.
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Re: Today is Leonard’s 89th birthday…and the second year of silence

Post by dar »

I just can't be silent about my thoughts on the "Letters to Leonard". I believe your motive to share this info with LC's fans is an honest effort to share what you believe. But I am going to be honest from my end and say that this thread feels unbalanced presenting an argument on Kory's behalf with no "Letters to Dad" from the plaintiffs to even things out. I've tried to find the actual complaint/case and can't find it. I'm sure it lists the issues for the courts' consideration. I'm sure the argument on behalf of Leonard's children will eventually be heard. It seems only fair.
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