Ms. Taylor Swift
c/o Ms. Tree Paine & Ms. Dana Lobb
September 29, 2015
Dear Ms. Swift,
You have deservedly earned recognition for lending your name and your financial resources to charitable efforts to help victims of bullying, survivors of environmental disasters, and others in need. In light of your support for humanitarian causes, we wish to call your attention to an instance where your inadvertent action threatens to undermine values you uphold. You are featured wearing diamonds from Leviev in two photos in the September issue of Vanity Fair. We are confident that if you were aware of Lev Leviev’s violations of human rights and international law, and unethical business practices in Palestine, Angola and Namibia, you would not tarnish your good name by associating yourself with his companies.
UNICEF, Oxfam America, the British and Norwegian governments and New Zealand’s pension fund are among many organizations that have severed ties with Leviev’s companies as a result of awareness-raising campaigns by activists about Leviev’s human rights abuses. Major Hollywood stars have also distanced themselves from Leviev. In 2008, the website of Leviev Diamonds featured photos of Salma Hayek, Halle Berry, Drew Barrymore, Brooke Shields, Andie MacDowell, Lucy Liu, Whitney Houston, Sharon Stone and others. However, after human rights activists spoke to and sent letters to representatives for these celebrities, some of these stars issued complaints to Leviev and the entire Celebrity section of his company’s website was taken down.