It looks as if Kesha’s legal battle against her producer, Lukasz Sebastian “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, has come to an abrupt end. A judge has dismissed the lawsuit, in part because the court denies Kesha’s rape claim, though not necessarily because they did not believe her. So what will happen now? And was Kesha really raped by Dr. Luke or was it just a publicity stunt?
For those aware of the case but who have not been keeping up to date, here are the facts of the matter. In October of 2014, Kesha (full name Kesha Rose Sebert) sued her producer, Dr. Luke, claiming that he was guilty of sexual harassment, sexual assault and battery, emotional abuse, gender violence, and being in violation of legal business practices in the state of California, and that he would often sedate her through drugs and alcohol prior to performing these acts. Stating that this behavior began as early as 2005, right after she was signed, the singer was accused by the defense and some of the media of merely making these claims to escape her legally binding contract. In contrast, Kesha said, according to court records, that she kept quiet because, “Dr. Luke threatened to destroy her career and family if she told anyone,” and only after leaving rehab did she have the will to finally speak up.
Well now, that keeping quiet may have come back to haunt her. That’s because, as reported by CNN, the judge, State Supreme Court Justice Shirley Werner Kornreich, has thrown out all her claims against Dr. Luke, his companies, and Sony Music Entertainment, meaning she will not be released from her contract. Kornreich stated that Kesha “failed to plead that any of the alleged discrimination occurred in New York State or City.” It was also stated that Kesha was unsuccessful at convincing the court that the abuse, even if it did happen, was a hate crime, as she attested, because while Dr. Luke’s alleged actions were directed at a female, they were not motivated by the fact that Kesha was female. What’s more, even if the sexual abuse claims were taken as being the truth, it would no longer matter because they happened long enough ago to have passed the statue of limitations—meaning she stayed too quiet for too long.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, Kesha likely won’t get another chance to do anything about it; this was the appeal. The original trial had its decision in February, where the judge determined Kesha could not be released from her contract, despite her team’s argument that pop star careers aren’t particularly long; this means that not being released ASAP could have hurt her net worth. However, they were told that, as the contract was “heavily negotiated and typical for the industry,” it could not simply be terminated.
The case has been a major media topic for months and received a lot of attention. There was also the #FreeKesha hashtag and petition, which saw a lot of ground and, along with the trial, received greater focus. The musical artist also received a lot of assistance not only from fans, but from other celebrities as well. Most notably, Taylor Swift supported Kesha with a $250,000 donation towards her case. Meanwhile, others such as Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato, and Ariana Grande tweeted their encouragement and support.
However, it was never about the money or even the contract; Kesha revealed on Instagram that she had been offered “freedom” from her contract if she agreed to take back the rape allegations during the initial trial—but she refused this offer on principle. Dr. Luke’s team, of course, denied the allegations, and it looks like things will stay that way. We may never truly have an answer now about what happened between Kesha and Dr. Luke, and time will tell if the singer will ever get—or even want—to release another album.