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Judge denies Kesha’s request to be released from her contract

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Over the last two years, Kesha has sought legal remedy against her longtime producer Dr. Luke (real name Lukasz Gottwald), whom she alleges verbally and sexually assaulted her for years. The singer filed a lawsuit based on those claims in 2014, and Dr. Luke responded with a countersuit, insisting that the plaintiff just wanted to be released from her contract. But while she waited for the slow-moving judiciary wheels to turn, Kesha was prohibited by her exclusive contract with Dr. Luke and Sony from working with any other producers.

The singer said she was unable to continue working with Dr. Luke because of the alleged abuse, and because she wasn’t able to record music with anyone else or get out of the contract, her career was effectively over. After claiming to have been “caught in the crossfire” between the litigants, Sony just threw up its hands. So in 2015, Kesha filed a preliminary injunction to prompt a judge to make a decision on her suit that would allow her to get back to work. And the matter has just been heard and ruled on, with The New York Daily News reporting that Kesha’s request has been denied.


Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich said in court that “she thought Sony would suffer irreparable harm if Kesha was not compelled to abide by a contract that requires her to make six more albums with the company,” and approving the injunction would “undermine the state’s laws governing contracts.” The judge also said Sony had offered to let Kesha work with a different producer. But the singer’s attorney, Mark Geragos, “argued that Sony’s promise was ‘illusory’ because even if the recordings were made, the record company wouldn’t promote them” (because the company was far more invested in its business relationship with Dr. Luke), an argument that the judge deemed “speculative.”

Dr. Luke’s attorneys also argued a motion to dismiss Kesha’s lawsuit yesterday, but while Justice Kornreich said she found the evidence that Kesha’s lawyer has so far presented “lacking” in establishing sexual harassment, discrimination, and violation of her civil rights, she’s postponed making a decision.

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