Taylor Swift Says Big Machine Records CEO 'Betrayed' Her With Scooter Braun Deal

Taylor Swift
Erik Madigan Heck for Rolling Stone

'I truly, legitimately thought he looked at me as the daughter he never had.'

Taylor Swift is still reeling from the sale of her masters.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the 29-year-old "Paper Rings" singer opens up about her devastation and shock over Scott Borchetta selling his company -- which included the masters of Swift's albums -- to Scooter Braun for a reported $300 million.

"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. But I truly, legitimately thought he looked at me as the daughter he never had," Swift says of Borchetta. "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," she continues. "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.'"

While the sale of Swift's work was always going to be a hard pill for her to swallow, Swift says the fact that it was Braun who purchased the label was simply "unbelievable."

"Here’s the thing: Everyone in my team knew if Scooter Braun brings us something, do not bring it to me," she says of Braun, whom she accused of bullying her over the years, a claim that Borchetta and others fought back against. "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. And then they’re standing in a wood-panel bar doing a tacky photo shoot, raising a glass of scotch to themselves," she continues, referencing a pic of Braun and Borchetta announcing the sale. "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."

Erik Madigan Heck for Rolling Stone

Despite her sadness at the sale -- which Borchetta claims the "London Boy" singer knew about before it went public -- Swift says that, following her Reputation tour, she was more primed to handle negative moments in her life.

"The stuff that happened a couple of months ago with Scott [Borchetta] would have leveled me three years ago and silenced me," she admits. "I would have been too afraid to speak up. 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."

"No one gets through [life] unscathed. No one gets through in one piece," she adds. "I think that’s a hard thing for a lot of people to grasp. I know it was hard for me, because I kind of grew up thinking, 'If I’m nice, and if I try to do the right thing, you know, maybe I can just, like, ace this whole thing.' And it turns out I can’t."