Kesha denied legal request to escape contract with man she alleges raped her

Singer cried as judge ruled contract with Dr Luke’s record label will remain intact despite Kesha’s allegations that he physically and sexually assaulted her

The singer Kesha’s request to be released from recording contract with Dr Luke, who she claims physically and sexually assaulted her, was denied by a New York judge on Friday.

Kesha filed a lawsuit against Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald, in 2014, claiming that the physical and sexual abuse began soon after she signed with him in 2005, when she was 18.

In the lawsuit, Kesha alleged that Luke plied the singer with drugs and alcohol before making sexual advances toward her. Kesha claimed that on one occasion, Gottwald gave her “sober pills” during a drinking session, and that she later woke up naked in his bed, unable to recall how she got there.

Gottwald quickly countersued, claiming Kesha’s allegations were part of a “campaign of publishing outrageous and untrue statements”.

Judge Shirley Kornreich denied Kesha’s motion for preliminary injunction, claiming that “there has been no showing of irreparable harm”, BuzzFeed reported.

The denied motion means Kesha will remain under contract with Gottwald’s Kemosabe Records, which is owned by Sony. Citing lack of medical evidence such as hospital records to corroborate the assault allegations, Kornreich said: “I don’t understand why I have to take an extraordinary measure of granting an injunction,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Kesha reportedly sobbed as the verdict was announced, and was comforted by her mother who accompanied her to the trial. Dozens of Kesha fans gathered outside the New York City courthouse in support of the #FreeKesha movement and outrage spread over social media.

Attorneys for Gottwald argued that the producer had invested $60m in Kesha’s career and had agreed to allow her to record without his involvement. Kornreich said her instinct was the “do the commercially reasonable thing” and noted that Sony had agreed to let Kesha record without Gottwald’s participation – an agreement Kesha’s lawyers said would set up the singer for failure since Sony’s interests lie in promoting Gottwald.

Last year, Kesha’s lawyers said that while the singer is still under Kemosabe Records, she “will suffer irreparable harm, plummeting her career past the point of no return”.


Mahita Gajanan in New York

The GuardianTramp

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