“I Stand With Kesha”
Celebrities are showing their support and sympathy to Kesha after the singer lost a bid to record music independent of Sony’s megaproducer Dr. Luke, whom she has claimed “sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally abused [Kesha] to the point where [she] nearly lost her life,” according to Rolling Stone.
It was a devastating day for Kesha Sebert on Friday, Jan. 19 when New York Supreme Court Justice Shirely Korneich denied Kesha a court injunction that would have allowed the singer to record music outside of her six-album contract with Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records, a Sony subsidiary, until a decision regarding the lawsuits and countersuits is made, according to CNN. “There has been no showing of irreparable harm. She’s being given opportunity to record,” Kornreich stated.
Fans and supporters gathered around the New York courthouse, holding signs that read “#FreeKesha.” The verdict also sparked a #FreeKesha movement online. A Twitter fan account @KeshaTODAY tweeted a video in support for the movement.
An 18-year-old named Michael who helps run the Twitter account shared his thoughts on the campaign in an email to Jezebel. He stated, “My only hope is that Sony recognizes the voices of those who show to protest on the day of court. I want them to see dozens of Kesha’s fans covered in glitter, holding signs, and peacefully protesting for Kesha’s career.” One supporter recently created a GoFundMe Campaign to raise enough money to buy Kesha out of her contract. The campaign has raised $23,811 thus far.
After the ruling, popular female artists like, Lady Gaga, Demi Lavato, Lorde, and Kelly Clarkson also expressed their sadness to Kesha’s situation via Twitter. Clarkson, who has worked with Dr. Luke, retweeted a tweet from the band Best Coast calling the ruling “bullshit” and posted her own tweet stating, “Trying 2 not say anything since I can’t say anything nice about a person… so this is me not talking about Dr. Luke.” And country star Taylor Swift recently donated a generous amount of $250,000 to help Kesha with any financial needs, a spokesperson for Swift wrote in a statement.
Celebrities and fans aren’t the only ones voicing their opinion about Kesha’s current situation. Dr. Luke (Lukasz Gottwald) went to Twitter on Feb. 22 to share his thoughts on Kesha’s allegations. In one tweet he wrote, “I didn’t rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her. Kesha and I were friends for many years and she was like my little sister.” He then proceeded to post a picture of a New York Daily News article that headlined, “Kesha denied date rape by Dr. Luke in 2011 testimony, court records reveal.”
Defending himself on Twitter isn’t the only thing Dr. Luke has done. After denying the allegations, Dr. Luke countersued Kesha, her mother Pebe Sebert, and Kesha’s representatives at Vector Management for defamation and breach of contract, “claiming that the ‘false and shocking accusations’ and Kesha’s refusal to record were tantamount to extortion,” according to Rolling Stone.
And Dr. Luke’s lawyer Christine Lepera had a few words to say as well. On Sunday night, Lepera referred to the 2011 testimony and told TMZ, “Ms. Sebert, who in sworn videotaped testimony from 2011 stated that she had never been sexually abused or drugged by Dr. Luke is neither a victim nor the appropriate person to be held up as an example for this important issue,” stated Rolling Stone.
On February 25th, Sony lawyer Scott Edelman told The New York Times that the company is “not in a position to terminate the contractual relationship between Luke and Kesha” because she entered into agreements with Dr. Luke’s company Kasz Money, and not Sony itself, Rolling Stone reported. “Sony is doing everything it can to support the artist in these circumstances, but is legally unable to terminate the contract to which it is not a party,” Edelman said.
For the most part, Kesha’s music career is on pause. Even though she had expressed willingness to record with other producers at Sony, her counsel says, according to CNN.
“Kesha’s case comes at a time when many women in the music industry are speaking up against the sort of abuse and harassment that has been routine business practice for years,” The Guardian reported, “The case’s newfound notoriety might give Kesha the leverage she lacked before, to settle with Sony and Luke on her terms.”
In response to her flooded support and her current dilemma, on Feb. 24 Kesha wrote on Facebook, “I’m so, so beyond humbled and thankful for all of the support I’ve received from everyone… I think about young girls today – I don’t want my future daughter – or your daughter – or any person to be afraid that they will be punished if they speak out about being abused, especially if their abuser is in a position of power.”
As of today, “Judge Kornreich stated in her February 2016 ruling that she was waiting to hear more evidence before outright dismissing the New York case. If it doesn’t get dismissed, the next step is a phone conference, scheduled for May 5, which will precede the “discovery” period during which lawyers for both sides collect evidence,” Rolling Stone stated.
On May 16 a California judge will hear updates on the case. And if all goes well and there are no delays during this period, or if the case isn’t settled out of court, a trial date will be requested a year from now on February 28, 2017, according to Rolling Stone.