Music News

Another Ugly Day in Court for Kesha, Dr. Luke

Every time Kesha and Dr. Luke square off in court, more ugly revelations and accusations come to light.
This week, Kesha told a New York City court that Dr. Luke has failed to provide any funding for her new recordings, money she says she’s owed for previous work including her 2013 multi-million-selling hit with Pitbull, “Timber.”

Kesha’s started work on a new album, but “not one song has been approved, no release date has been set, and there has been no agreement on the critical issue of whether the album will be promoted commensurate with an artist of Kesha’s stature and historical success,” the singer’s attorneys claim in new documents filed in court this week, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Kesha, as you might recall, is still under a recording contract with Dr. Luke and his Kemosabe label, a division of Sony. She’s been trying to be freed from this contract for years, saying she doesn’t feel safe or comfortable working with Dr. Luke after years of mental, psychological and sexual abuse.

“You can get a divorce from an abusive spouse. You can dissolve a partnership if the relationship becomes irreconcilable. The same opportunity—to be liberated from the physical, emotional and financial bondage of a destructive relationship—should be available to a recording artist. After a February 19, 2016 preliminary injunction hearing, Kesha Rose Sebert is, for the time being, no longer forced to record in the same room with Lukasz ‘Dr. Luke’ Gottwald, the abusive music producer who has had her under contract for the past eleven years. But allowing Kesha to make music outside Dr. Luke’s presence does not free her from her abuser’s control,” the documents state.

Kesha and her legal team also maintain it wasn’t until her lawyers threatened another lawsuit that Dr. Luke “released certain funds owed to Kesha in December 2016, two years after they were due.”
Of course, Dr. Luke is fighting back. He’s maintained his innocence all along and holds up his relationship with his mother, sister and daughter as evidence he’d never abuse women. One of his attorneys, Christine Lepera, continues to argue that Kesha and her mom, Pebe Sebert, are waging a “smear campaign” against her client, trying to “blacklist” him from the industry. Additionally, Lepera says Kesha told Lady Gaga in a text message that Dr. Luke assaulted her and another singer.

“Specifically, Kesha told Lady Gaga that ‘she [i.e., the Other Recording Artist] was raped by the same man’ as Kesha. The ‘man’ to whom Kesha referred was Gottwald—as the surrounding context of the text message makes clear. Kesha’s assertions to Lady Gaga were completely false. Gottwald did not rape Kesha, and he did not rape the Other Recording Artist,” Lepera says in newly filed documents.

To make matters even more fun, Dr. Luke’s contract with Sony expires in March, which could further complicate things.

Read this  and this for more on the latest developments in this case.

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

Amber Healy has 521 posts and counting. See all posts by Amber Healy

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