Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

In a court ruling last week, singer-songwriter Kesha Sebert, known simply as Kesha, got denied a court injunction that would have given her the ability to make music outside of the Sony Music record label, and put an end to her partnership with producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Sebastian Gottwald.

Kesha signed on to work with Dr. Luke in 2005, and she sued him in 2014, claiming that he abused her sexually, physically, mentally and emotionally throughout the time they had worked together. She claims that there are occasions where he drugged and raped her, though in 2011 she testified a deposition that Dr. Luke had never done anything to her. Dr. Luke allegedly threatened her that if she ever told anyone about the abuse, he would harm her, her family and her music career. Kesha believed that he was powerful enough to carry out his threats.

In 2011, he made an agreement with Sony Music that allowed him to run an imprint, Kemosabe Records, which is what Kesha wants to be released from. Some entertainment lawyers have claimed that Sony could not stop the contract solely on allegations, so Dr. Luke has not received any criminal charges.

The injunction was denied by New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich. She said, “There has been no showing of irreparable harm. She’s being given opportunity to record.”

According to Scott Edelman, a lawyer representing Sony Music, “Sony has made it possible for Kesha to record without any connection, involvement or interaction with Luke whatsoever, but Sony is not in a position to terminate the contractual relationship between Luke and Kesha.”

Dr. Luke’s lawyer, Christine Lepera, said, “The New York County Supreme Court on Friday found that Kesha is already ‘free’ to record and release music without working with Dr. Luke as a producer if she doesn’t want to. Any claim that she isn’t ‘free’ is a myth.” So Kesha is free to not work directly with Dr. Luke, though she still has to work with Sony. But because Dr. Luke is still in charge of the record label, even if Kesha doesn’t work directly with him, he would still the have final say over her music.

Kesha spoke out on Facebook, saying, “All I ever wanted was to be able to make music without being afraid, scared or abused. This case has never been about a renegotiation of my record contract, it was never about getting a bigger, or a better deal. This is about being free from my abuser. I would be willing to work with Sony if they do the right thing and break all ties that bind me to my abuser.”

Dr. Luke has denied all allegations, tweeting, “I didn’t rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her.”

Kesha’s case has gained a lot of publicity and has started the #FreeKesha campaign. Many stars, including Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, Kelly Clarkson and Lorde have spoken out in their support of Kesha. Some stars even put their own careers at risk by supporting Kesha because some of them work with Dr. Luke. Taylor Swift donated $250,000 to Kesha, and in her acceptance speech for best British female solo artist, Adele said, “I’d also like to take this moment to publicly support Kesha.”

Dana Perkiss is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at

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