On Friday, Kesha‘s request for an injunction, which would allow her to record outside of her contract with Dr. Luke, was denied by a New York court. This brings over a year of litigation to a head after much back and forth. Kesha originally filed suit against her producer, Dr. Luke, with allegations of a decade of abuse (both verbal and sexual). Kesha claimed that she was drugged and berated, and she says this treatment led to an eating disorder and a stint in rehab. Dr. Luke then filed a countersuit, which claimed this was false and that Kesha was extorting him as a means to leave her record contract with Sony Music Entertainment.
Kesha subsequently added the label to her lawsuit, saying Sony “ratified” Dr. Luke’s actions and provided him with a “platform to continue his abuse.” She also stated her career would suffer permanent damage (“past the point of no return”) without court relief. During this lawsuit, Kesha has been barred from recording or marketing merchandise outside of her contract. So she hasn’t released material since 2013, but she has performed in a few small shows with a new band over the past few months.
However, after Friday’s ruling, Kesha won’t be recording on her own anytime soon. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the New York court denied Kesha injunctive relief after examining her contract from a purely civil standpoint:
“You’re asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry,” said the judge to Mark Geragos, the attorney for Kesha, who sat in the back row with her mother Pebe and looked solemn.
Kornreich heard arguments that Dr. Luke had invested a substantial amount — $60 million in her career — and that the producer had agreed to allow her to record without his involvement. The judge told Geragos that “decimates your argument,” adding, “My instinct is to do the commercially reasonable thing.”
Judge Kornreich also acknowledged the difficulty in taking Kesha’s assault allegations into account and providing “the extraordinary measure of granting an injunction” without medical evidence. Further, Dr. Luke has denied all claims of assault and abuse in this case, and no criminal charges have been brought against him. Hence the purely civil treatment of this case, which could see further legal action by Kesha. For now, her contract with Sony Music Entertainment and Dr. Luke stands.