Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald has a real talent for making himself look like the most vindictive jerk on the planet. Gottwald, of course, is the music producer who has been involved in a legal battle with Kesha for a very long time, which was kicked off by Kesha accusing him of abusing her (both verbally and physically), and then suing him and Sony so she could be let out of her recording contract. At any point, it seems like he could just make all of this go away by cutting ties with Kesha and letting her out of her contract, but apparently he’d rather file lawsuits against her mom than actually do the thing that’s in both his and Kesha’s best interests.
The latest development in this awful saga is that Kesha has actually started working on new music in an attempt to fulfill her contractual obligations, but “not one song has been approved, no release date has been set, and there has been no agreement on the critical issue of whether the album will be promoted commensurate with an artist of Kesha’s stature and historical success.” The Hollywood Reporter has obtained new legal documents that Kesha’s team has filed, which accuse Gottwald of refusing to pay Kesha royalties that she is owed as well. Kesha’s lawyers argue that this looks suspiciously like an attempt to cut off her finances and starve her out until she gives up and ends her legal disputes with Gottwald.
Naturally, because the biggest recurring theme here is that Gottwald can’t let things go, his legal team has now issued a new statement (also via The Hollywood Reporter) that says it’s actually Kesha who owes him money. Apparently, as part of her contract, Kesha agreed to pay Gottwald’s company 10 percent of the money she gets “from the exploitation of her name and likeness,” but she supposedly hasn’t been keeping up with those payments the way she’s supposed to. As for the “not one song has been approved” thing, Gottwald says they don’t have to make any decisions about that sort of thing “while the album is still being created,” so it doesn’t matter anyway.
In one final twist, THR also notes that Sony’s contract with Gottwald and his companies will end in March, which could mean that any incentive Sony might’ve had to protect Kesha—even if just from a PR standpoint—will be gone.