Dr. Luke’s Not Coming Across As A Great Guy Right Now

This ugly, nasty, bitter lawsuit between Kesha and Dr. Luke might have hit rock bottom. Considering he’s filed a lawsuit against her mother, that’s really saying something.

The latest development involves some emails in which Dr. Luke, real name Lukasz Gottwald, provides some less than flattering and supportive instructions to Kesha through her manager, Monica Cornia.

Remember that Dr. Luke has claimed all along that he’s been supportive of Kesha and her career, that he loves and respects women, that all accusations against him involving any kind of abuse are fabricated.

In one email, published this week by the New York Post, Dr. Luke writes that he wasn’t “calling anybody out” when talking with Kesha about her eating habits. “We were having a discussion on how she can be more disciplined with her diet. there have been many times we have all witnessed her breaking her diet plan. this perticular (sic) time —it happened to be a diet coke and turkey while on an all juice fast.” The email was sent at 2:11 a.m. on June 28, 2012.  In a previous message, the Post notes, “A list of songwriters and producers are reluctant to give Kesha their songs because of her weight.”

This message came a few weeks after on in which Cornia recounts, in an email to Kesha and her other managers, a heated discussion between Kesha and Dr. Luke about her song “Crazy Kids.” Dr. Luke produced the song. In particular, there was a disagreement over some lyrics: Dr. Luke preferred “You see us in the club sip sippin bub”; Kesha wanted to sing “You see us in the streets we da we da freaks” instead, as it would be more believable because she doesn’t frequent clubs.

In response to this disagreement, Dr. Luke reportedly told Kesha he didn’t “give a shit” what she wanted. “If you were smart you would go in and sing it,” Cornia recounted.

At an impasse, Cornia wrote that Dr. Luke wouldn’t come downstairs to join the group, asking, “she wears the pants in MY house?,” the article says.

Kesha’s attorneys again are asking for a judge to “free” her from “her abuser and rebuild her physical, emotional and mental health.” This lawsuit has been working its way through courts in LA and New York City for three years now: Kesha is seeking to be released from her contract so she can sign with another label. She has repeatedly said she hasn’t been able to record in years, and despite assertions from Sony that she can work with a different producer and they’d put full support behind her work, she claims that isn’t true.

Within hours of the New York Post article’s publication, Christine Lepera, one of Dr. Luke’s attorneys, sent a statement to Billboard, asserting that the emails were taken out of context.

“Kesha and her attorneys continue to mislead by refusing to disclose the larger record of evidence showing the bad faith of Kesha Sebert and her representatives which is greatly damaging to them,” Lepera says. The larger body of evidence would show that Dr. Luke provides “tremendous support” to Kesha, including support in her struggles with her weight.

“Rather than agree to a thorough disclosure, Kesha and her representatives improperly publicized, without Court permission, three out-of-context emails which do not present the full picture regarding the events they concern. For example, these emails do not show that the lyrics of ‘Crazy Kids’ were, in fact, rewritten at Kesha’s request. Any claim by Kesha to the contrary is deceiving the public—just like her other meritless claims of wrongdoing by Dr. Luke,” who she believes will be fully vindicated in court.

There’s another court date next week, a phone conference with the judge. But this case isn’t ending any time soon, sadly.

A year ago, the same judge, Shirley Kornreich, denied the singer’s request to be released from her contract because, in her view, “there has been no showing of irreparable harm. She’s being given the opportunity to record…You’re asking me to presume an entity like Sony, who is in a competitive position…will not want to make money on their investment.”

Amber Healy

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

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