The record exec who discovered and managed Lorde for almost five years has been sacked from his label after admitting to years of sexual harassment and emotional manipulation towards younger employees.
A months-long #MeTooNZ investigation by Kiwi news website Stuff into harassment in the music industry has prompted the stunning admission from Scott Maclachlan.
“I do accept the harmful impact of my past behaviour and I try every day to repair the damage and prevent it happening again,” Maclachlan told Stuff, adding that he’s now in intensive psychotherapy.
After managing Lorde through the release of Pure Heroine, the two parted ways and she managed herself from then on. Maclachlan went on to take up a role as Senior Vice President at Warner Music Australasia in Sydney, while still running his artist management firm Saiko Management in Auckland.
But within five months of joining Warner, Maclachlan was banned from the label’s Australian offices and apparently even certain gigs after an external investigation into a sexual harassment complaint.
He was demoted to a lower role and sent back to the company’s offices in Auckland, where privacy laws may have prevented Kiwi staff knowing about the investigation.
Meanwhile, one young employee at Saiko Management also claimed that Maclachlan sexually harassed her and often overstepped the boundaries their professional relationship.
“He would insinuate he wanted more, he would comment on my body, he would ask whether I wanted to kiss him. Most of the time I just told him to shut up,” she told Stuff.
Maclachlan described the behavior outlined in these allegations as: “Stupid, insensitive and ignorant comments.”
“There’s not a day goes by that I don’t regret the harm I have caused people around me and most importantly the pain and embarrassment I have caused my wife and children,” he added.
“I have to live with that guilt, knowing that people I worked with have also endured pain and stress because of my actions.”
In the wake of the bombshell investigation, Maclachlan was sacked entirely from Warner on Sunday afternoon.
“We investigated what we believed to be an isolated incident in 2018, with the assistance of an external expert, and we went further than they advised with disciplinary actions,” a spokesperson for the company told Stuff in a follow-up article.
“Now that we’ve learned about these additional incidents, we’ve terminated Scott Maclachlan’s employment contract with immediate effect.”
Maclachlan isn’t the only Kiwi industry leader to have these kinds of claims leveled against them in the Stuff investigation.
Paul McKessar, who managed The Naked and Famous among other artists, allegedly entered in a relationship with Openside lead singer Possum Plows that had a massive power imbalance.
He declined to comment, other than to say the relationship was consensual.
You can read the full investigation into sexual harassment in the Kiwi music industry here.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.