Kesha appeals against court ruling that ties her to Dr Luke

Singer’s lawyers say judge in last month’s hearing was wrong to bind her to company run by the man she accuses of rape, likening it to ‘slavery’

Kesha has launched an appeal against the court ruling last month that decreed she had to stay in her recording contract with Dr Luke, whom she has accused of raping her.

The singer’s lawyer Mark Geragos asserts that Justice Shirley Kornreich was in error when she ruled that Kesha should continue to record for the Kemosabe imprint – which is affiliated with Sony – run by the producer, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald. “The Court erred in basing its decision on its finding that Kesha could record without interference from Gottwald,” they wrote in a filing to a New York appellate court, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In the same papers, Geragos also insisted that forcing Kesha to continue to work for Kemosabe was akin to “slavery”.

Justice Kornreich, however, had accepted Sony’s offer that Kesha was free to record without Gottwald’s involvement, despite his role as songwriter, producer and label boss.

They also presented evidence from music industry experts suggesting that Justice Kornreich was wrong when she asserted that the dispute between Kesha and Gottwald had done no irreparable harm to the singer’s career. Rolling Stone reports that the affidavits said “a young pop star’s fame will fade quickly, and permanently, due to a loss of momentum”.

Kesha filed a lawsuit against Gottwald in October 2014, seeking to be freed from her contract, on grounds of sexual assault, harassment, unfair business practices and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Gottwald countersued for breach of contract. No criminal charges have been brought against him.

Gottwald’s lawyer, Christine Lepera, responded to Kesha’s appeal yesterday saying: “The court repeatedly stated Kesha was 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 sworn testimony – show her allegations are false. Her attorneys can continue manufacturing even more false and outrageous claims, but the fact remains that her time would be better spent in a studio than wasting time having her lawyer and mother spin lies in the media.”

Kesha was signed to Kemosabe in 2005, when she was 18. Her 2009 single Tik Tok is the biggest selling single ever by a female solo artist. She has not released any new music since 2013. Gottwald, who has won four Grammy awards, is one of the most successful songwriters and producers of the century so far, working on music for stars including Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears and Katy Perry.


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