Dr. Luke Speaks Out

While he couldn’t reveal everything, given that the case is ongoing, Dr. Luke took to Twitter on Monday to tell what he could of his side of the story.

He’s been accused by Kesha of drugging and sexually assaulting her repeatedly since he signed her to a contract on his Kemosabe label, under Sony, in 2005, a claim he’s denying in full.

“It’s a shame that there’s so much speculation out there basing itself on so little information,” he began. “The only true objective person who knows the facts is the judge. The judge did not rule in Kesha’s favor on Friday.

“I understand why people without all the information are speaking out. I can appreciate their compassion. But lives can get ruined when there’s a rush to judgment before all the facts come out. Look what happened at UVA, Duke, etc,” he continued, referring to two very high-profile cases where rapes were alleged but the claims later largely revealed to be fraudulent.

Kesha’s accusations, in a lawsuit filed in 2014, are “motivated by money” and are wholly untrue, he says. “I didn’t rape Kesha and I never had sex with her. Kesha and I were friends for many years and she was like my little sister.”

Dr. Luke goes on to reprint some of Kesha’s testimony from the recent court appearance and points to a claim made by Mark Geragos, Kesha’s attorney, that Dr. Luke also raped Lady Gaga, a claim she herself later denied. Geragos, he adds, “represented Scott Peterson” who was jailed for killing his then-pregnant wife, Lacey Peterson, “and Chris Brown. How can he pretend he cares about women’s rights?

“Imagine if you or somebody you loved was publicly accused of a rape you knew they didn’t do. Imagine that. I have 3 sisters, a daughter and a son with my girlfriend, and a feminist mom who raised me right.”

He concludes by saying that while he and Kesha made a lot of songs together, and while there were some “creative differences,” it was “often good.”

“It’s sad that she would turn a contract negotiation into something so horrendous and untrue. But I feel confident when this is over the lies will be exposed and the truth will prevail,” he says.

In the meantime, Mitchell Silberg and Christine Lepera, attorneys representing Dr Luke (real name Lukasz Gottwald), reinforced the judge’s ruling that Kesha is free to record music on a Sony label without working with Dr. Luke and any argument to the contrary is a “myth.”

“The sound decision Friday by the court in denying Kesha’s motion for an injunction made it clear Kesha’s allegations of purported abuse were unconvincing and that she had no basis to void record contracts and copyrights,” they say in a statement released Monday and published in Billboard. “Dr. Luke and his companies invested in Kesha’s success through their contributions, Sony Music has already spent over $11 million promoting Kesha, and Sony Music and its label Kemosabe Records are committed to continuing to promote her work,” something Geragos has challenged.

“More significantly, the Court also noted multiple times that her vague abuse allegations were devoid of factual detail, and that there was no evidence, whether from doctors or anyone else, to support them.”

They point out that, as Kesha never filed a report with police or authorities of any kind, there’s no record of the abuse she alleges occurred, and she herself even denied claims of rape in another court at another time. “The goal of Kesha’s counsel throughout has been to obtain a more lucrative contract through a shameless campaign of outrageous claims they will never stand behind in a court of law.”

Others are coming to Dr. Luke’s aid as well, just as legions of fans, supporters and other artists have come out to back Kesha in recent days (including Taylor Swift, who on Monday donated $250,000 to her friend, despite her own dealings with Dr. Luke).

Men in America are afraid to speak out against rape allegations because once a man is accused of raping a woman, he’s largely believed to be guilty by society at large, writes Bob Lefsetz, a media commentator. “But this isn’t about rape, this is about contracts, this is about LAW! Leave the emotion out, focus on the system. And the system is one wherein Sony Music spent millions to make Kesha a star. And now she wants to turn her back on the company.”

Kesha signed her contract with Sony of her own free will, and now that she wants out, she’s using every tool available to nullify her agreement, Lefsetz says, and those speaking out on her behalf don’t know what they’re talking about or the world in which she operates.

“We are a nation of laws. And we have to abide by the decisions of the courts,” he says. “I have no idea what happened between these two. For all I know Kesha may be right, she may be telling the truth. Although she has not done a god job of proving her case, by testifying under oath that it did not happen and never reporting it to police. But that does not make it untrue, it just makes it very difficult to hold Dr. Luke accountable, assuming, that is, that he did it.”

Lefsetz says that while it’s irrelevant that Geragos provided legal counsel to both Peterson and Brown, but concludes by saying that institutions “outlast both artists and the people populating them…if you want to bring down power you’re asking for a revolution, something that almost never happens…Last week’s decision was all about the issue of setting Kesha free from her contract, not the rape. Best to separate out the issues. But that’s tough in a country where critical thinking takes a back seat.”

There’s one thing all sides agree on: This is an ugly case that’s not going to be resolved neatly, or any time soon.

Amber Healy

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

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