Music News

Kesha “Exiled Herself,” Dr. Luke’s Lawyer Says

If Kesha is feeling adrift, abandoned and alone, she has been “exiled” by her own actions.

That’s the sentiment of Christine Lepera, attorney for Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, following a long, in-depth and sympathetic profile of the singer, titled “The Exile,” in the New York Times last week.

The profile looked at Kesha’s life today, two years after filing a lawsuit against Dr. Luke claiming he sexually assaulted and otherwise abused her. She’s been asking to be freed from her contract with Dr. Luke, his label, Kemosabe, an imprint of Sony, but has been denied that liberation at every turn over the past year. In the profile, Kesha tells the reporter she’s written 22 new songs and is currently doing a small tour in order to pay for her legal fees; the songs have not yet been released as an album or digital downloads because she fears a lack of support from Sony and potentially retaliatory or damaging efforts will be made against her and any new work she makes available.

In a lengthy statement, published in fully Billboard, Lepera makes her client’s case in response to the Times profile.

In part, Lepera says the Times piece “has many inaccuracies” and is “part of a continuing coordinated press campaign by Kesha to mislead the public, mischaracterize what has transpired over the last two years, and gain unwarranted sympathy.” Kesha never intended to prove the accusations and allegations against Dr. Luke, Lepera continues, as evidenced by withdrawing a lawsuit in California similar to one still being fought in New York courts. And despite her assertions to the contrary, “Kesha was always free to move forward with her music, and an album could have been released long ago had she done so.

“She exiled herself,’ Lepera says.

When Kesha submitted the 22 new songs to the label, in July, all sides agreed the songs needed work, but discussions have been underway to polish the songs in the hopes of making them marketable. A list of producers other than Dr. Luke has been presented and agreed upon by Kesha’s team to assist in the completion of the songs.

“It is in the best economic interest of the label and Mr. Gottwald to put out a top selling album, and that takes time,” Lepera continues. “In fact, the label suggested an early release of an advanced Kesha track. It was Kesha’s team who rejected this proposal.”

As to her claim that her hands are tied and she’s forced to tour behind incomplete songs, Lepera denies this as well.

“Kesha’s claim in the article that she has no ability to earn money outside of touring is completely rebutted by well documented public court records which apparently escaped the article’s attention,” the statement concludes.

The New York Times subsequently posted a podcast on the profile and interviews that went into last week’s article.

Amber Healy

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

Amber Healy has 522 posts and counting. See all posts by Amber Healy

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