KEY POINTS

  • Scooter Braun said he regrets how the purchase of Taylor Swift's first six studio albums went down
  • He claimed he "offered to sell her the catalog back" but that "her team refused"
  • The music mogul admitted that the worst part of the drama was being called a "bully"

Scooter Braun has opened up about the drama surrounding his purchase of Taylor Swift's master catalog.

The 40-year-old music mogul spoke about his regrets over buying Swift's masters during a new interview with Variety. In 2019, Braun purchased the singer's former record label, Big Machine, which has the rights to master recordings of Swift's first six studio albums.

"I regret and it makes me sad that Taylor had that reaction to the deal. … All of what happened has been very confusing and not based on anything factual," he told Variety about the purchase and the drama that subsequently followed. "I don't know what story she was told. I asked for her to sit down with me several times, but she refused. I offered to sell her the catalog back and went under NDA, but her team refused."

"It all seems very unfortunate," he added. "Open communication is important and can lead to understanding. She and I only met briefly three or four times in the past, and all our interactions were really friendly and kind. I find her to be an incredibly talented artist and wish her nothing but the best."

Upon his purchase of her master recordings two years ago, Swift expressed disdain for the deal and announced her decision to re-record her albums. Braun then faced public scrutiny from the pop superstar's fans, who labeled him a "bully" for allegedly stealing her hard-earned IP without reasonable terms for its return.

Swift later claimed that when she and her team attempted to enter negotiations with Braun over her masters, he allegedly wanted her to sign a non-disclosure agreement stating she would never say anything negative against him before they would be allowed to look at financial records.

According to Braun, the bullying allegations were what hurt him the most in the whole process.

"I’m firmly against anyone ever being bullied," he explained. "I always try to lead with appreciation and understanding. The one thing I’m proudest of in that moment was that my artists and team stood by me. They know my character and my truth. That meant a lot to me. In the long run, I’m happy for my life’s work to be the legacy I leave behind."

Braun went on to say that he accepted that people would have misconceptions about him, adding that "success is a game of chess, and sometimes on that chessboard, people don't see what you're doing until four or five moves in."

"There’s always going to be misconceptions because people want to see things the way they want to see them. But it would be really nice if we all give each other a little bit of grace," he added.

In November 2020, Variety reported, citing unnamed sources, that Braun's Ithaca Holdings had sold the rights to Swift's first six albums, from 2006's "Taylor Swift" to 2016's "Reputation," to private equity company Shamrock Capital.

Following the news of the latest sale of her recordings, Swift addressed it in a statement she issued via Twitter. "He would never even quote my team a price. These master recordings were not for sale to me," she claimed.

The singer alleged that he required her to "sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work."

"My legal team said that this is absolutely NOT normal, and they've never seen an NDA like this presented unless it was to silence an assault accuser by paying them off," she continued. 

However, Braun's team refuted her claim to Variety, stating that "negotiations had started in earnest."

Swift began the process of re-recording her old music in November 2019. She released "Fearless (Taylor's Version)" in April and announced that  she will be dropping the re-recorded version of her fourth studio album "Red" in November.

Taylor Swift LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 09: Taylor Swift attends the 2018 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on October 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images For dcp