Kesha Cannot Break Dr. Luke Contract, According To Judge — UPDATE
After much anticipation, the verdict is in. On Friday, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that a New York-based judge ruled that Kesha cannot break her contract with Dr. Luke (real name: Lukasz Gottwald). The 28-year-old singer was hoping to continue her career without the music producer, especially after she filed a lawsuit in October 2014 against him in which she claimed he drugged and raped her a decade ago. However, after hearing arguments from both sides, Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich ruled in Dr. Luke's favor.
"You're asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry," Kornreich said to Kesha's attorney, Mark Geragos. After learning that Dr. Luke invested $60 million into the singer's career and that he allowed her to record without his involvement, the judge told Geragos that the prior information "decimates your argument," and added, "My instinct is to do the commercially reasonable thing."
As for the sexual abuse allegations made by Kesha, Dr. Luke denies them claiming that she is trying to extort him in order to extricate her from her contracts. In October 2014, he filed a defamation lawsuit against Kesha, her mother Pebe Sebert, and her reps at Vector Management. "As part of the effort to get out of the Gottwald Recording Agreement, Kesha and Pebe have also orchestrated a campaign of publishing false and shocking accusations against Gottwald to extort Plaintiffs into letting Kesha out of the Gottwald Recording Agreement," the complaint read.
After filing a lawsuit against Dr. Luke in 2014, Kesha's lawyer, Geragos, told Billboard in a statement:
This lawsuit is a wholehearted effort by Kesha to regain control of her music career and her personal freedom after suffering for ten years as a victim of mental manipulation, emotional abuse and sexual assault at the hands of Dr. Luke. The facts presented in our lawsuit paint a picture of a man who is controlling and willing to commit horrible acts of abuse in an attempt to intimidate an impressionable, talented, young female artist into submission for his personal gain. Kesha is focused on moving her life and her career beyond this terrible time.
Update: Dr. Luke's lawyer released a new statement on Monday, Feb. 22, which can be read in part below:
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.