Leonard Cohen’s Heirs Sue Singer’s Ex-Manager for Allegedly Forging Documents
by Shiryn Ghermezian
The children and heirs of late Jewish musician Leonard Cohen recently filed a lawsuit against the singer-songwriter’s former manager, accusing him of replaced a section of Cohen’s trust in order to name himself as its primary trustee.
Robert Kory allegedly forged a portion of the trust that initially named the Hallelujah singer’s two children, Lorca and Adam Cohen, and his ex-girlfriend, fellow musician Anjani Thomas, as successor co-trustees, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by TheWrap. The motion added that Kory allegedly inserted a “phony” section in the trust that says he is the sole first successor trustee while Lorca and Adam were demoted to second successor trustees.
“There is no valid instrument by Leonard designating Kory to serve in that capacity. Since Leonard’s death in 2016, Kory has been holding himself out as trustee and exercising control over the Trust and its assets solely on the basis of forgery and fraud,” the lawsuit stated.
Cohen’s heirs are asking the court to confirm that Kory is not a trustee and has no right to act in that role. They want to remove Kory as a trustee, have him turn over the trust to Cohen’s heirs and compensate them for the money he earned while acting as trustee, including the cut he got from selling Cohen’s entire song catalogue for $58 million. The new lawsuit states that Cohen was “dying and heavily medicated” when he signed an agreement in July 2016 granting Kory a 15 percent commission on such a sale.
The motion also claims Kory backdated a document that enabled him as trustee to profit from an exhibition and book of Cohen’s work at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and that Kory paid himself, his son and others thousands of dollars to store and maintain Cohen’s archive, Variety reported. The lawsuit additionally accuses Kory of engaging in business deals on behalf of Cohen’s trust without consent from the singer’s children; refusing to provide Adam and Lorca with information regarding those business ventures; and refusing to distribute to the heirs assets from the trust that are worth tens of millions of dollars “in order to continue to wrongfully enrich himself.”
A trial is scheduled for March 29 in Los Angeles.
Cohen’s children also filed a lawsuit against Kory in 2022 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.