It’s now been more than two years since Kesha first accused Dr. Luke of more than a decade of sexual, physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. The intervening years have seen a back-and-forth of lawsuits, in multiple states, as well as a number of nasty, publicly traded comments and actions. The saga only goes on as the two now file counterclaims that surely mean the court battles are far from nearing a conclusion. Kesha 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.” From her 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 further claims that Dr. Luke is trying to punish her for continuing to speak up, going so far as to cut off her finances and block payment owed under her music publishing contract. She hadn’t received royalty payments she was owed for “Timber,” for example, until last month after she had threatened further legal action.
Dr. Luke, on the other hand, is still accusing Kesha and her mom of a “smear campaign” and a failure to fulfill the terms of her contract. He’s additionally added in his counterclaims that they “embarked on a conscious and coordinated effort to ‘blacklist'” the producer from the music industry. Furthermore, Luke’s amended complaint claims Kesha texted Lady Gaga, accusing the producer of raping another artist. Per the document:
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.
These long, drawn-out court proceedings are also now taking a newfound urgency because Sony’s contract with Dr. Luke and his companies ends in March of this year, meaning that Sony will leave Kesha’s career unmitigated with the man she’s accusing of abuse, and that 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, with Dr. Luke reportedly providing documentation proving that his career has taken a financial hit as a result of Kesha’s claims.
UPDATE: Dr. Luke’s lawyer, Christine Lepera, has shared this statement:
“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.”