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Taylor Swift’s lawyers threaten Florida student who tracks her private jet

“While this may be a game to you, or an avenue that you hope will earn you wealth or fame, it is a life-or-death matter for our Client,” Swift’s lawyer wrote.
 
Taylor Swift performs “Cruel Summer” during the first of her three sold-out Tampa shows on the Eras tour at Raymond James Stadium on April 13, 2023, in Tampa.
Taylor Swift performs “Cruel Summer” during the first of her three sold-out Tampa shows on the Eras tour at Raymond James Stadium on April 13, 2023, in Tampa. [ MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times ]
Published Feb. 6|Updated Feb. 7

Taylor Swift has bad blood with a Florida college student.

According to The Washington Post, the pop superstar’s attorneys have sent several cease-and-desist letters to Jack Sweeney, a 21-year-old University of Central Florida junior, demanding that he stop posting the whereabouts of her private jet.

Sweeney gathered a large online following for tracking private jets of celebrities and billionaires, from Elon Musk to Mark Zuckerberg. He uses open-source flight data gathered from hobbyists around the world, as well as public data from the Federal Aviation Administration, and posts on platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Threads and X (formerly known as Twitter). His documentation of Swift’s whereabouts have been especially popular as the singer’s carbon emissions continue to be criticized by environmental advocates.

Swift’s attorney, Katie Wright Morrone of Washington law firm Venable, first sent a cease-and-desist letter to Sweeney in December, the Post reported, calling his flight-tracker accounts “stalking and harassing behavior” and threatening legal action.

The letter states that Sweeney caused the Swift family “direct and irreparable harm, as well as emotional and physical distress,” and had worsened the performer’s “constant state of fear for her personal safety.”

Jack Sweeney displays @elonjet on his phone on June 23, 2022, in Clermont.
Jack Sweeney displays @elonjet on his phone on June 23, 2022, in Clermont. [ CHRISTOPHER SPATA | Tampa Bay Times ]

Instagram and Facebook disabled Sweeney’s accounts that month, so Sweeney started sharing Swift updates on his Celeb Jets accounts, where he posts updates on a variety of stars.

Morrone sent a second letter in January.

In the same month, a man was arrested three times in five days near Swift’s Manhattan apartment on charges of stalking.

“We cannot comment on any ongoing police investigation but can confirm the timing of stalkers suggests a connection,” a spokesperson for Swift wrote in an email to the Tampa Bay Times. “His posts tell you exactly when and where she would be.”

Sweeney has not responded to a request for comment.

Sweeney started tracking Elon Musk’s jet in 2020, as well as those belonging to Jeff Bezos, Kim Kardashian and Drake, among others. He has been known to bargain with jet owners who want their information deleted. Musk removed Sweeney’s twitter account, @elonjet, after he asked for $50,000. Sweeney deleted his Twitter account dedicated to the jet of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, but only after receiving basketball tickets from Cuban himself.

“We are aware of your public disputes with other high-profile individuals and your tactics in those interactions, including offering to stop your harmful behavior only in exchange for items of value,” reads one of the letters sent by Swift’s team. “While this may be a game to you, or an avenue that you hope will earn you wealth or fame, it is a life-or-death matter for our Client. Ms. Swift has dealt with stalkers and other individuals who wish her harm.”

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Information from the Tampa Bay Times archives was used in this story.