Kesha carries out legal battle with Dr. Luke

By: Katrina Gross ~Staff Writer~

Photo courtesy of | Several music-business attorneys predict a settlement, most likely involving Kesha departing from Kemosabe Records with a cash payout that allows both sides to resume their careers.

The pop world was taken by surprise in 2014 when pop star Kesha sued her producer Dr. Luke with allegations of abuse and general mistreatment. According to Kesha, her ultimate goal with the lawsuit was to void all of their contracts and be free to create music without having to interact with Dr. Luke.

In Feb. 2016 of this year, a New York judge ruled that until further notice, if Kesha wishes to make music, she must do so with Dr. Luke.

Kesha filed the original lawsuit during Oct. 2014 in California. The suit claimed that Dr. Luke “sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally abused Ms. Sebert to the point where Ms. Sebert nearly lost her life,” all in order for Dr. Luke to maintain control over both her life and career.

The suit claims that for up to 10 years before Kesha finally decided to press charges, she suffered abuse from Dr. Luke. Within the same month of Kesha filing her lawsuit, Dr. Luke countersued her, her mother and her representatives at Vector Management for defamation and breach of contract. Dr. Luke claimed that Kesha’s accusations were “false and surprising,” comparing Kesha’s refusal to work to extortion.

A recent development that finally brought the case into the spotlight was the denial of injunction by New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich in Feb. 2016.

In other words, until the lawsuits filed by both Kesha and Dr. Luke have been sorted out and given rulings, Kesha must work with Dr. Luke’s label, Kemosabe, if she wishes to record new music.

“There has been no showing of irreparable harm. She’s being given the opportunity to record,” Judge Kornreich said.

The recording company Sony, which has taken a lot of heat throughout the process of these lawsuits for not doing enough to help Kesha, cannot free her from her contract. This is because Kesha is not directly signed with Sony, but with Kemosabe. Kemosabe works to produce music exclusively for the conglomerate, but is itself only considered an imprint of the company. Since Kesha is actually signed with Dr. Luke’s label, Sony is unable to release her from any contracts due to legalities.

Hundreds of thousands of Kesha fans – new and old – have teamed up to protest her situation in an attempt to help the pop star. Starting the hash tag campaign #FreeKesha, everyday people and celebrities alike have made their support and love for the superstar known.

There has even been a GoFundMe page started with the hope to raise enough money to buy Kesha out of her contract. Judge Kornreich stated in her Feb. 2016 ruling that she was waiting to hear more evidence before simply dismissing the case. The next step in the case will be a phone conference on May 5, which will precede a period during which lawyers for both sides collect evidence.

The most recent development is the decision that a California judge will hear updates in May 2016 on the case to see if it will be taken to trial or settled outside of court.