On the 19th of February 2016, in the New York Supreme Court, Judge Shirley Kornreich ruled against popstar Kesha’s request for a preliminary injunction that would have released her from her multi-million dollar contract with her record producer, Dr. Luke.
Since 2014, singer Kesha famous for hits such as TiK ToK and Timber, has been on an ongoing legal battle with her producer Dr. Luke when she accused him of “sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally” abusing her since the beginning of their professional relationship which began more than a decade ago.
The case outlines, in detail, how the producer allegedly drugged Kesha with a “sober pill” and raped her shortly after her 18th birthday, and then again on several other occasions.
He allegedly made threats against Kesha and her family, and called her derogatory names. Kesha claimed that his abuse caused her to fall victim to an eating disorder.
In response to the claims, Dr. Luke filed a countersuit against Kesha for defamation, accusing her, her mother and her management of fabricating the abuse claims to break her from her contract with him.
Judge Kornreich cited that she felt there was “vagueness” in Kesha’s claim, referring to a “lack of evidence”, such as hospital reports, supporting the alleged attack.
Also, in 2011, a video emerged showing the popstar Kesha swearing under oath that Dr. Luke “never assaulted or drugged her”, this key piece of evidence played a big role in the 2016 court ruling.
But Kesha later revealed that she only said that because she felt threatened by Dr. Luke.
In addition, on the 9th of June 2015, Kesha added a case against Sony Music Entertainment. Kesha’s lawyer, Mark Gregaros, responded claiming:
“Dr. Luke’s proclivity for abusive conduct was open and obvious to Sony 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.” – Mark Gregaros
In February 2015, during New York Fashion Week, Kesha wore a Discount Universe dress with the words “You Will Never Own Me” on the front of the garment, which Idolator speculated to be an obvious jab at Dr. Luke.
When Kesha lost her legal battle against Dr. Luke, a number of stars offered their support including chart-topper Taylor Swift, who donated $250,000 to Kesha, Adele stated “I’d also like to take this moment to publicly support Kesha” while accepting an award at the Brit Awards and Kelly Clarkson sympathized with Kesha.
In a radio interview with Australia’s KIIS FM, former American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson gave a scathing character review of Dr. Luke.
“He’s not a good person” – Kelly Clarkson
Although Clarkson wouldn’t be drawn to comment on Kesha’s situation – as she has no first-hand knowledge of it – she offered that: “I can remark on his character, he’s difficult to work with and kind of demeaning”.
Clarkson also commented that Dr. Luke has “lied a lot” and that working with him was “a really hard time” for her.
The verdict also sparked protests outside the courtroom by Kesha supporters and started the “#FreeKesha” campaign.
A Nashville man raised more than $23,000 for Kesha.
Brandon de la Cruz from Nashville doesn’t consider himself a Kesha super-fan, but he was immediately struck by the emotional pictures of the pop star in the courtroom.
“It was a really powerful image, and that’s what sparked me to start the campaign” de la Cruz said. The campaign is unfolding on GoFundMe.
“I hope this page shines more light on the challenges and judgment sexual assault victims have to face” – Brandon de la Cruz