Singer Kesha has had a tough two years as she fought to regain her freedom as a recording artist and be released from her Sony recording contract. However, yesterday, a New York City judge declared that the pop star could not escape her recording contract with longtime producer Dr. Luke and his record company – which means she’s obligated to record at least six more albums before her release.
Asides from wanting her creative freedom, the Tik Toc hitmaker filed a personal suit, asking to cut all ties with the famous music producer.
The legal battle started in 2014, when the 28-year-old filed a lawsuit against the 42-year-old producer, born Lukasz Gottwald, claiming he sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally assaulted her for a decade. The producer denied all claims, and Kesha was counter-sued, but this was dismissed.
While the judge has yet to make a ruling on the assault claims, she did say that the singer was obligated to remain in contract, and according to People, broke down into tears when the ruling was heard.
“Your major issue is your client is saying she cannot record with Mr. Gottwald. Reading these papers, I notice that Sony and [Dr. Luke’s record label] Kemosabe Records say they don’t care if Gottwald has anything to do with anything with the recording,” the judge said to Kesha’s attorney, Mark Geragos. “They are willing to allow her to record without any involvement of Mr. Gottwald, and there are papers from Mr. Gottwald that say he will agree to allow her to record without his involvement. She doesn’t have to work with him.”
But, Geragos responded, arguing that it was an “illusory promise.”
“If he’s [Dr. Luke] the one in charge of the company that does all the things to produce it, she can record right now, but no one is going to hear it,” he said.
This is undoubtedly an extremely distressing time for the singer, and it is not yet known what her next move will be. Basically, she is legally bound to continue to make music with her alleged abuser (the judge has yet to rule on these underlying charges). Dr Luke is a powerful figure in the industry and a key player at Sony, so it seems unlikely that Kesha would have an easy time getting material released and promoted even if she did work with another production team, given that they are still caught in a legal battle.
Stars have rallied behind the singer, with the hashtag #FeeKesha trending on Twitter.
There are people all over the world who love you @KeshaRose. And I can say truly I am in awe of your bravery.
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 19, 2016
My heart is with @KeshaRose.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) February 19, 2016
Trying 2 not say anything since I can’t say anything nice about a person… so this is me not talking about Dr. Luke https://t.co/lLhtUHbmgG
— Kelly Clarkson (@kelly_clarkson) February 19, 2016
standing with @KeshaRose through this traumatic, deeply unfair time. send good vibes her way everyone
— Lorde (@lorde) February 19, 2016
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) February 20, 2016
It’s a horrific situation for a young woman who just wants to express herself creatively and make music.