On Friday, a New York Supreme Court judge ruled that, despite Kesha’s allegations that Dr. Luke drugged and abused her both sexually and verbally, the singer must remain tethered to his Kemosabe record label.
Lawyers arguing for Kesha, who hasn’t released new music since suing her Luke for sexual assault in 2014, said that every day she doesn’t release new tracks she fades from the spotlight in a world where fans move on quickly. Last October, the pop singer-songwriter requested to be released from her contract with Kemosabe so she could work with collaborators outside of Dr. Luke, whom she’s also accused of continued abuse. However, state Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich did not grant the “Timber” singer her freedom, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“You’re asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry,” said the judge to Mark Geragos, the attorney for Kesha, who sat in the back row with her mother Pebe and looked solemn.
Kornreich heard arguments that Dr. Luke had invested a substantial amount — $60 million in her career — and that the producer had agreed to allow her to record without his involvement. The judge told Geragos that “decimates your argument,” adding, “My instinct is to do the commercially reasonable thing.”
Kornreich also pointed to a lack of medical evidence regarding Kesha’s abuse claims as reason to dismiss her request. Dr. Luke has maintained his innocence, saying that Kesha and her mother’s claims of abuse are just a ploy to extort him. Dr. Luke’s lawyers also said Kesha is allowed to record with other producers while remaining signed to his label and Kesha’s lawyer said she’s open to “recording with Sony,” Kemosabe’s parent company. However, Kesha’s lawyer argued that Sony took Luke’s side, and that they would “set her up to fail,” according to Buzzfeed’s Mary Georgantopoulos, by not promoting her music. The judge was not swayed.
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