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Taylor Swift's new publicist slams unflattering stories about the country star

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Taylor Swift has hired a new publicist. The "22" singer has split with longtime PR spokeswoman, Paula Erickson, and hired Tree Paine to help deal with the ongoing media frenzy. The country superstar may have been looking for a fresh start. This move comes just after Swift purchased duplex penthouses in Manhattan's Tribeca neighborhood.

Paine is setting up a new PR company, Premium PR, after winning her new client, as New York Post reported on April 20. Her background is with both the Academy of Country Music and Warner Music’s Nashville operations. As she commented, "there isn't a publicist in NY, LA or Nashville that wouldn't jump at an opportunity to work with someone as talented as Taylor Swift and her management team."

Paine is already hard at work, smacking down unflattering stories that have been circulating about Swift. On April 10, the newly-hired publicist addressed a National Enquirer story that accused her of abandoning a struggling Randy Travis when he needed her. The story had described her as a "cold fish" who turned her back on people when they no longer helped her career. As Paine tweeted, "this story is 100% not true. Never believe the National Enquirer."

On April 16, Paine addressed a story suggesting that Swift had an unreasonable list of demands for new boyfriends. According to the report, Swift only wanted a guy who was "leading man hot," spoke multiple languages, and had at least one sister. Paine slammed the report as "another false story."

Last week, the News Nerd had published a story suggesting that Swift had a medical condition that caused an "extreme fear of black people." The report talked about how her run-in with Kanye West at the 2009 VMAs had left deep emotional scars, and had contributed to a fear of "being accosted by black men." On April 17, Paine took to Twitter to remind viewers that the News Nerd was a satire site, not to be taken seriously.

Swift's new publicist really seems to have her back. With such sensationalist headlines floating around, it seems like Swift needs someone who will aggressively defend her. Did Taylor Swift make the decision by hiring Tree Paine?

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