Who Is Tree Paine? Meet Taylor Swift’s Longtime Publicist

Getty Tree Paine and Taylor Swift

Before Taylor Swift won her second Grammy for Album of the Year for 1989, she had hired publicist Tree Paine, who’s been a key member of her fiercely close-knit team ever since. Paine, who set up the PR company Premium PR after taking Swift on as a client, is also one of the few people, aside from the singer’s parents and musical collaborators, featured in the Netflix documentary, Miss Americana</em>.

Like Swift’s longtime boyfriend Joe Alwyn, Paine is not heavily showcased in the film, but director Lana Wilson makes her brief appearances felt by viewers. It’s clear that Paine is someone Swift trusts, a person who’s helped manage Swift’s career through intense public scrutiny while also dutifully standing by as the “You Need to Calm Down” singer transformed her life between 2016 and now.

While Swift, who was 24 at the time, was already a huge star when Paine came on board, having released her fourth studio album, Red, which sold 1.2 million copies in its first week, Paine has been by the singer’s side through 1989, Reputation, and Lover.

She’s also been her PR guardian through her feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, public break-ups with Calvin Harris and Tom Hiddleston, and most recently, Swift’s battle with Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Record over music ownership rights.

Before starting Premium PR, Paine worked at the Academy of Country Music until 2007, when she was hired as the senior vice-president of publicity for Warner Music Nashville. According to All Access, the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Lux Lucy Paine, on August 22, 2007, who’s naturally a big Swift fan.

Paine Is Married To Husband Lance Paine

While Paine mostly stays out of the spotlight, her job is to manage those in front of the camera, she also maintains a private life of her own. She is married to Lance Paine, who’s the founder of Brand Atelier, LLC, which is based in Nashville, Tennessee.

According to Lance’s LinkedIn profile, the Pepperdine business school alumnus has long worked in the same industry as his wife. Prior to starting his own brand management company, he was the president of HGTV Property Brother‘s company, Scott Brothers Global, and the president of Goo Goo Cluster, LLC, a candy brand invented in 1912.

Paine Accompanied Swift & Her Family To Court During Her Sexual Assault Trial

Taylor Swift’s publicist Tree Paine at the civil case for Taylor Swift vs David Mueller

A huge part of Miss Americana delves into her sexual assault trial in 2017, where Swift had to defend herself in court after she was assaulted by former radio host David Mueller in 2013. After Mueller sued for defamation, Swift countersued for a symbolic $1, and while Swift ultimately won, the experience was both traumatic and eye-opening for the singer.

During the trial in Denver, Colorado, Swift’s brother, Austin, parents Andrea and Scott, and Paine were in attendance. While Swift took to the stand, her mother also testified, as she was at the event when the assault took place.

Andrea said, “I went into the dressing room and I saw her face. I could see that there was something horribly wrong. [Swift] said, ‘Mom, a guy just grabbed my ass… I did not want her to have to live through endless memes and gifs and anything else tabloid media or internet trolls would be able to come up with; making her relive this awful moment over and over again. We wanted to keep this private but we did not want to let him get away with it.”

Paine Was By Swift’s Side When She Made Her First Public Political Post On Instagram

Crowding around her phone, as Swift pushes the publish button on Instagram, posting her first-ever politically powered message to her 126 million followers, Paine and her client sat together on the couch while drinking two huge glasses of wine.

“I need to be on the right side of history,” Swift said of her decision to publicly support two Tennessee Democratic candidates during the 2018 midterm elections. “I feel really good about not being muzzled anymore, and it was my own doing.”

While her team fears she will lose half an audience in ticket sales, Swift is more scared of what will happen if she doesn’t speak out. “I can’t go up on stage and say ‘Yay! Happy Pride Month!” without fighting for equal rights during the election. She fears people will think of Tennessee, her hometown, with Senator Marsha Blackburn, whom she refers to in the film as “Trump with a wig.”

With Paine’s support, the days of Swift tip-toeing her way around her true feelings are gone. In a poignant scene in the film, Swift discusses stepping out with a political stance, and her father advises against it. Scott fears for his daughter’s security and worries that this will make her an even bigger target.

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