Ke$ha’s rape allegation does not free her from her Sony recording contract

March 2016

Recorded music, artistes



Ke$ha broke into tears when a Manhattan Supreme Court judge refused to let her walk away from a six-album deal with Sony — and the man she claims raped her. The singer had sought to nullify her recording contract because it brought her into contact with super-producer Dr. Luke, whose real name is Luke Gottwald.
The 28-year-old, whose real name is Kesha Rose Sebert, claims that Dr. Luke drugged her with a pill that made her black out and raped her shortly after her 18th birthday in California. He was never criminally charged. Gottwald has countersued, claiming Kesha’s allegations were part of a “campaign of publishing outrageous and untrue statements”.
Sony has offered to let her work with another producer, but Ke$ha said she feared the company won’t promote her music as heavily if she’s not working with Gottwald, their biggest hitmaker. Ke$ha’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, had argued that Sony’s promise to connect her to another producer was “illusory” because even if the recordings were made, the record company wouldn’t promote them. He contended that Sony had more invested in Dr. Luke than in Ke$ha, and it would do everything to protect him because he makes them more money.
Dozens of fans rallied outside the courthouse in support of the singer and chanted as the singer walked down the front steps with her entourage.
Refusing an injunction, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich said Sony would suffer irreparable harm if Ke$ha was not compelled to abide by a contract that requires her to make six more albums with the company. The judge said that granting the singer’s request to nullify her deal would undermine the state’s laws governing contracts and the court couldn’t do that : “You’re asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry,” Kornreich told Geragos.
The denied motion means Kesha will remain under contract with Gottwald’s Kemosabe Records, which is owned by Sony. Citing lack of medical evidence such as hospital records to corroborate the assault allegations, Kornreich said: “I don’t understand why I have to take an extraordinary measure of granting an injunction,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.


Dr. Luke and Sony are also trying to dismiss the underlying case in which Ke$ha contends Dr. Luke abused her emotionally and psychologically for a decade. Christine Lepera, an attorney for Dr. Luke, said in a statement that the allegations against him “were asserted solely to extort money and gain contractual leverage.” Dr. Luke’s had also accused Ke$ha, 28, and her mother Pebe Sebert of defamation and breach of contract – but a judge in New York threw out the case against Pebe  in February this year.
When The Show Can’t Go On: Dissecting Music Industry Contracts By Jillian Sequeira

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