Kesha Pushes For Injunction Against Dr. Luke, Citing Her Paralyzed Career
Kesha has faced multiple roadblocks in her legal battle against songwriter-producer Dr. Luke, and she took action this past Friday (September 18) in an effort to move court proceedings forward — so that she can move forward with her music career, too.
The pop singer has pushed for a preliminary injunction, according to the Hollywood Reporter. This means a judge in New York will have to determine whether Kesha has grounds to void her recording contracts with Dr. Luke.
This maneuver comes after Kesha expanded her original suit to include Sony, because "Dr. Luke’s proclivity for abusive conduct was open and obvious to [Sony Music Entertainment] Doe executives, who either knew of the conduct and turned a blind eye, failed to investigate Dr. Luke’s conduct, failed to take any corrective action, or actively concealed Dr. Luke’s abuse.” In June, a California judge ruled that this meant the case had to move to New York, where Sony Music's headquarters is based — and move it did.
Kesha's attorney, Mark Geragos, stated in court papers that until a decision is reached, Kesha's music career continues to move toward peril.
"Until this Court rules on the declaratory judgment claim, Kesha is at an impasse," the memorandum, which attempts to bar Dr. Luke from preventing Kesha from signing with a new label, says. "She cannot work with music producers, publishers, or record labels to release new music. With no new music to perform, Kesha cannot tour. Off the radio and stage and out of the spotlight, Kesha cannot sell merchandise, receive sponsorships, or get media attention. Her brand value has fallen, and unless the Court issues this injunction, Kesha will suffer irreparable harm, plummeting her career past the point of no return."
Jim Urie, former longtime president and CEO of Universal Music Group Distribution, also supported that claim in an affidavit. "No mainstream distribution company will invest the money necessary to distribute songs for an artist who has fallen from the public eye, as is happening to Kesha at this very moment," Urie said. "Accordingly, if Kesha cannot immediately resume recording and having her music promoted, marketed, and distributed by a major label, her career is effectively over."
Sony and its subsidiary to which Kesha is signed, Kemosabe Records, call Kesha's suit a "transparent and misguided attempt to renegotiate her contracts," and want it dismissed. But the gravity of Kesha's accusations against Dr. Luke — which include allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting the pop star and enacting all sorts of controlling behavior — is echoed in her most recent affidavit. It claims Dr. Luke "took credit for songs he didn't write, for a television show he didn't actually produce" and, after deciding Kesha's lyric-writing skills weren't up to snuff, hired Will.i.am to write a verse for her. "I know I cannot work with Dr. Luke," she wrote. "I physically cannot. I don't feel safe in any way."
Here's hoping the legal proceedings reach a resolution soon, so Kesha can focus her efforts on making new music with a fresh slate of producers and collaborators.
Update: PopCrush has received the following statement from Dr. Luke's attorney, Christine Lepera, which presents their view on Kesha's suit and calls the abuse claims "false." Regarding the cited "sworn testimony to the contrary," Kesha's lawyer told TMZ in October 2014 that "[Dr. Luke] threatened to destroy Kesha’s life and the lives of her family if she didn’t cover up his sexual assaults."
Read the full statement from Dr. Luke's counsel below.
"We are confident this motion will be denied because it is without merit. Kesha continues to make the same false claims of abuse against Dr. Luke she testified never happened under penalty of perjury. As with all pleadings in this case, her affidavit is vague and unsubstantiated, with pivotal details such as dates fudged, and notably fails to address her unequivocal prior sworn testimony to the contrary.
If Kesha now regrets her career being mired in legal proceedings, it’s entirely her making. It was Kesha who chose to file a lawsuit falsely alleging abuse to gain advantage in contract negotiations, and now she must accept the consequences of her improper actions. As long as she continues to stand by her false claims of abuse against Dr. Luke and remains in breach of her contracts, he will continue to protect his professional and personal reputation, as well as his contractual rights, in a court of law. He looks forward to obtaining judgments in his favor.”
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