Kesha Still Cannot Break Sony Contract, After Judge Rejects Her Appeal Against Dr. Luke

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Singer Kesha attends the 9th Annual Delete Blood Cancer Gala on April 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Delete Blood Cancer DKMS)
Source: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

On Wednesday, TMZ reported that a New York Supreme Court judge denied Kesha's appeal to break free of her contract with Sony and music producer Dr. Luke (real name: Lukasz Gottwald). The rejection by Judge Shirley Werner Kornreich stems from Kesha's March appeal against Sony and Dr. Luke, wherein she alleged that her contract is like "slavery" and claimed she was the victim of a "hate crime" by Dr. Luke. Now, those claims have been rejected.

"Although [Dr. Luke’s] alleged actions were directed to Kesha, who is female," the judge declared, "[Kesha did] not allege that [Dr. Luke] harbored animus toward women or was motivated by gender animus when he allegedly behaved violently toward Kesha. Every rape is not a gender-motivated hate crime."

In February, the same judge denied Kesha the right to break her contract with Dr. Luke, stating, "You're asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry." Sony has stated that Kesha can record without Dr. Luke, but that they cannot break her contract with the producer.

In October 2014, Kesha filed a lawsuit against Dr. Luke claiming he raped her when she was 18 years old and sexually and emotionally abused her. Dr. Luke has repeatedly denied these accusations and has countersued Kesha for defamation. A trial which will address Kesha's sexual assault claims against Dr. Luke is slated to begin in 2017. 

On April 3, Dr. Luke's spokesperson released a statement to Rolling Stone, after Kesha claimed she would only ever be free from Dr. Luke if she apologized for the lawsuit. The statement reads:

The Court repeatedly stated Kesha is already free to record without Dr. Luke, and that she had not presented any facts supporting her claims. That's because all the evidence — including Kesha's own videotaped sworn testimony — show her allegations are false. The only thing Kesha is not free to do is to continue to lie about Dr. Luke through publicity stunts and outrageous smears, ignoring the fact that by her own free will she went to work and entered into new contracts with Dr. Luke years after this "incident" supposedly happened. Her goal all along has been solely personal enrichment by seeking to break contracts that brought her success and millions so she can enter into more lucrative ones. We look forward to our day in court holding Kesha accountable for her lies.

When Kesha sued the producer in October 2014, her lawyer released the following statement to Billboard:

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.

In February following the injunction ruling, an attorney for Sony told the New York Times:

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. Sony is doing everything it can to support the artist in these circumstances, but is legally unable to terminate the contract to which it is not a party.

Must Reads