Photo by Sharon Alagna
A little over two years ago pop star Kesha came out with accusations against her long time producer Dr. Luke stating that he had inflicted more than a decade of sexual, physical, verbal, and emotional abuse against the singer. Following the initial accusations has been a bevy of lawsuits filed both on behalf of Kesha as well as Dr. Luke. The lawsuits have been filed in multiple states and the two have also been battling it out in the press with as a number of public statements and interviews that led to many pop figures to take sides. Taylor Swift famously donated money to Kesha so that she wouldn’t be forced back into the studio with the man she is accusing of abuse due to lack of funds and be able to live her life in relative peace during the proceedings. Now two more counterclaims have been filed and it would seem the court battles are far from nearing a conclusion. Kesha’s previous and current suits focus on being released from her contract with the producer and is continuing to seek “the freedom to make music without being bound indefinitely to the very producer who subjected her to years of abuse and continues that abuse to this day.”
Per Kesha’s countersuit:
“You can get a divorce from an abusive spouse. You can dissolve a partnership if the relationship becomes irreconcilable. The same opportunity — to be liberated from the physical, emotional, and financial bondage of a destructive relationship — should be available to a recording artist. After a February 19, 2016 preliminary injunction hearing, Kesha Rose Sebert is, for the time being, no longer forced to record in the same room with Lukasz ‘Dr. Luke’ Gottwald, the abusive music producer who has had her under contract for the past eleven years. But allowing Kesha to make music outside Dr. Luke’s presence does not free her from her abuser’s control.”
Kesha’s new counterclaim also indicates that Dr. Luke is trying to silence her from speaking up publicly about the abuse accusations by cutting off her finances and blocking payments owed to her contractually. Kesha is saying that she didn’t receive any of the royalty payments she was owed for “Timber” until recently when she had threatened further legal action.
Dr. Luke is maintaining his innocence in the case and has also accused Kesha of failing to fulfill the terms of her contract as well as accusing the singer and her mom of conducting a “smear campaign” against him. In his counterclaims, Dr. Luke alleges that both the singer and her mother “embarked on a conscious and coordinated effort to ‘blacklist’” the producer from the music industry.” Amongst the list of actions, Dr. Luke is stating Kesha has transgressed against him in her pursuit to be released from her contract lie claims that Kesha texted Lady Gaga and accused the producer of raping another artist.
Per Dr. Lukes counterclaim:
On February 26, 2016 — one week after losing her motion for preliminary injunction — Kesha initiated a text message conversation with Stefani Germanotta, the recording artist who is professionally known as ‘Lady Gaga.’ During this text message conversation, Kesha falsely and baselessly asserted that Kesha and another female recording artist (the ‘Other Recording Artist’) had both been raped by Gottwald. Specifically, Kesha told Lady Gaga that ‘she [i.e., the Other Recording Artist] was raped by the same man’ as Kesha. The ‘man’ to whom Kesha referred was Gottwald — as the surrounding context of the text message makes clear. Kesha’s assertions to Lady Gaga were completely false. Gottwald did not rape Kesha, and he did not rape the Other Recording Artist.
Dr. Luke’s lawyer released the following statement as well stating that the producer will also be seeking a defamation claim based on these texts.
“Dr. Luke seeks to add an additional defamation claim against Kesha based upon the discovery of another false and defamatory statement she made about him that was part of her calculated effort to harm his reputation and business. Kesha’s new proposed counterclaim simply repeats the meritless and untrue allegations that were set forth in her earlier pleadings and which Dr. Luke fully disputes.”
With the court proceedings entering their third year it is unsure when this whole case will be laid to rest. The current proceedings are also being given a new sense of urgency due to the fact that Sony’s contract with Dr. Luke and his companies is coming to an end in March. If this happens before a judgement has been given on the counterclaims Sony will efectively be leaving Kesha’s career in the hands the man she’s accusing of abuse as she “will remain contractually bound to Dr. Luke until she releases three additional albums, each containing six songs produced individually by Dr. Luke, no matter how many years that takes.”
Both artists will be giving depositions within the next week.