Earlier this year, Alanis Morissette‘s former manager admitted to defrauding her and several other clients, stealing $4.8 million from the “Ironic” singer and $7 million overall. Jonathan Schwartz, who worked with Morissette from 2009-2016, was sued by the singer in May 2016 for draining her assets. Here’s how The Hollywood Reporter put it: “Morissette claims Schwartz didn’t just steal from her, he also transferred $8 million from investment accounts that were supposed to remain untouched in order to pay for expenses, despite her direction that she should live off her current income and interest.” She was seeking damages in the form of $15 million.
Schwartz and Morisette have apparently settled, and today, Schwartz has written an open letter of contrition in The Hollywood Reporter. The reason why he took all the money? Gambling.
Here’s an excerpt:
I lived a double life since no one other than my bookie knew I had this “dark” side. At first, I “borrowed” a little from clients, with the hopes that I would pay them back if I won that night’s bet. That snowballed, and as I kept losing, I kept stealing. I kept telling myself that I just needed one lucky break, and I’ll pay them back. That lucky break never came — thankfully. I say thankfully because when I was finally caught, a bright spotlight shined on my deplorable conduct. I could not hide any longer and hit rock bottom. By seeing how pathetic I had become, I finally got the courage to ask for help.
Part of my amends include making sure that others who might be in my former situation, in super stressful jobs where the demands feel overwhelming, do not turn to drugs or gambling to deal with the stress or violate their responsibilities to others hoping no one will notice, but seek help from those around them or treatment before it is too late. Please use me as an example of what can go disastrously wrong when you start down the wrong path. Please, please follow a different path.
Schwartz pled guilty to embezzling from his clients, and is due to be sentenced on May 3. Morissette was also the victim of a burglary earlier this year.
UPDATE (2:20 p.m. Eastern): Morissette has released a brief, savage reply to Schwartz’s letter, per THR: “I would be apprehensive to believe any words that come out of Jonathan Schwartz’s mouth.”