Music executive Scooter Braun has been called a ‘sheep in wolves clothing’ by a former Goldman Sachs partner who is suing him for $50 million, it has been reported.
Peter Comisar has accused Braun of deceiving him into leaving his lucrative Guggenheim Securities job and ‘aggressively courted’ him into joining a new firm he allegedly claimed would be backed by entertainment bigwigs, the New York Post reported.
Braun told Comisar that Scope Capital Partners could raise between $500 million and $700 million from ‘close friends’ like Interscope Records cofounder Jimmy Iovine, DreamWorks cofounder David Geffen and Saban Entertainment founder Haim Saban, court records show.
Braun, who made headlines for his public fight with Taylor Swift over the rights to her old music, even attempted to prove his connections to Geffen by describing him as his ‘godfather,’ according to court records.
Braun in return has launched a lawsuit against Comisar calling for ‘judicial intervention to end Peter’s unlawful, extortionate and opportunistic threats against him.’
Music executive Scooter Braun has been called a ‘sheep in wolves clothing’ by former Goldman Sachs partner Peter Comisar who is suing him for $50 million
Braun’s successes in managing Justin Bieber, pictured, were reportedly used to try to convince Comisar to leave his lucrative Guggenheim Securities job to join Scope Capital Partners
Comisar claimed that those investments never came about, amounting to a lawsuit over a breach of contract, which is seeking $50 million in compensatory damages plus unspecific punitive damages, the outlet reported.
‘Braun, by all outward appearance, was the real deal,’ the lawsuit reads, according to the New York Post.
The lawsuit, filed in a state court in California, alleges Braun tried to recruit Comisar for the top job at Scope Capital Partners from 2016 to 2017, which he would launch with business manager David Bolno.
Bolno allegedly praised Braun’s success managing Justin Bieber and ‘creating the Yeezy brand for Kanye West’ to Comisar in 2016, kicking off the courtship. Braun has also managed stars including Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Carly Rae Jepsen.
In 2017, Braun ‘personally executed contractual commitments to support the new venture’ which committed him to an annual operating expense of $7 million for three years and $3 million annual salary for Comisar, court documents read.
‘Braun had to explain to Comisar, tail between his legs, how he had asked David Geffen, his supposed Godfather, to invest in Scope, only to be told by Geffen that he did not view Braun as someone with whom Geffen would invest,’ the lawsuit reads.
Braun, famous for his public fight with Taylor Swift over the rights to her old music, sold the highly-coveted masters for her first six albums to Los Angeles-based private equity firm Shamrock Holdings for over $300 million last year
Iovine, Saban and the family of Reuben Soros allegedly gave Braun ‘the same brush-off’ telling Braun they ‘valued him as someone to socialize with’ but not someone whom they could ever ‘trust their millions,’ the lawsuit claimed.
The lawsuit claims Braun allegedly worked behind the scenes to secure an investment from Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, into his business Ithaca Holdings that would let him make the same investments into entertainment and consumer products as Scope Capital Partners.
Comisar claims Braun stopped paying his salary and funding Scope Capital Partners by April 2018 because the company was in ‘direct conflict’ with the deal with the Carlyle Group.
‘People in the entertainment industry do not honor their contractual obligations,’ Bolno allegedly told Comisar.
Boldno also allegedly threatened to trash Comisar’s ‘pristine reputation’ and ‘ruin him financially,’ according to the New York Post.
The lawsuit also claimed that Braun and Bolno also separately had conversations with Comisar and would assert Comisar had been fired from Goldman Sachs, which Comisar claimed in the lawsuit is not true.
After Comisar formally notified them his contract had been breached, Bolno and Braun ‘falsely accused’ him of racism though details of those claims were not included in the lawsuit, according to the New York Post.
The Carlyle Group, which helped Ithaca Holdings buy the rights to Swift’s old music, closed its deal to acquire part of the company just months after Scope Capital Partners was founded, according to the lawsuit.
Braun made his name when he spotted a then 12-year-old Justin Bieber singing on YouTube and convinced him to move to the US where he signed with Island Def Jam (pictured together in 2010)
Last year, Braun sold Swift’s highly-coveted masters for her first six albums to Los Angeles-based private equity firm Shamrock Holdings for over $300 million, Variety reported.
Ithaca Holdings was sold to Hybe Corporation, the South Korean entertainment company behind the popular boy band BTS, for $1 billion in April.
Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande each made ‘roughly $10million’ from the sale and $50million taken from the purchase price has been split among some of Braun’s longtime employees and clients, according to Variety.
Braun – an entrepreneur, record executive and investor – has managed a slew of stars and has been named on the Time 100 list of most-influential people and Forbes ’40 under 40′ list.
He made his name when he spotted a then 12-year-old Justin Bieber singing on YouTube and convinced him to move to the US where he signed with Island Def Jam.
Braun also has a decade-long feud with Swift that has played out in rows between her and artists he manages, including when Kanye West interrupted her acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Music Awards.
He bought Big Machine Label Group – the label she signed to aged 15 – and consequently owned all her music.
Taylor signed with Big Machine Label Group back in 2006 after founder and then-owner Scott Borchetta discovered her singing in a Nashville coffee shop.
Borchetta helped guide her from raw talent to global pop phenomenon, scooping up Grammys, AMAs, Billboard Music Awards and seven Guinness World records along the way.
The row erupted after Scott Borchetta, who singed Swift in 2006 aged 15 (together left), sold his record label to Scooter Braun (right), a man with who she has a long-running feud
Her first six albums were released on Big Machine, and provided the label 80 per cent of its revenue, according to Variety.
Swift left the label in 2018 and signed with Universal Music, but ownership of the master copies of her first albums – the first copy from which all subsequent ones are made – remained with Big Machine.
Her contract with Big Machine also forbid her from re-recording her first five albums until November 1, 2020 – at least according to Swift, with the fate of sixth album Reputation being less clear.
In early 2019, Borchetta sold his company to Ichaca Holdings, owned by Scooter Braun.
Swift said she was unaware that Big Machine had been sold to Braun’s firm in a $300million deal, calling it her ‘worst-case scenario’.
‘This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term “loyalty” is clearly just a contractual concept,’ she said at the time.
‘When that man says “Music has value”, he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.
‘Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words “Scooter Braun” escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to.’
Swift claims she tried to buy back the master copies of her first albums from Big Machine, but the terms she was offered were ‘intolerable’.
‘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,’ Swift said.
‘I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future.’