Kesha Sebert, international pop phenomenon, has been denied her preliminary injunction to be freed from her producer alleged abuser, Dr. Luke. The pop star has been given radical support all across social media after the denial was given on February 19, 2016. However, there is a lot of background information to this case that needs to come to the surface.
Let’s start in the early stages of her career. In 2005, Kesha’s demos were heard by Lukasz Gottwald, an upcoming producer known as Dr. Luke, instantly wanting to strike a record deal on his beginning label, Kemosabe Records. The deal was for eight albums, and made her a performer and songwriter under his name. She moved from Nashville to Los Angeles, dropping out of high school and leaving behind everything and everyone she had known.
Fast forward to 2009, Kesha had not released any legitimate material of her own, until she was featured on rapper Flo Rida’s “Right Round,” but was not paid any royalties nor featured as a vocalist. Kesha’s vice on the song was so marveled about on the track that in summer 2009 she released her debut single, “Tik Tok.” It charted at number 1 on Billboard Hot 100, her debut album Animal charting at number 1 in multiple countries and selling 4.5 million copies worldwide.
She continued her success and released her sophomore album Warrior, including the worldwide top 5 smash “Die Young,” as well as recording a reality show, My Crazy Beautiful Life, about her life and making of her career on MTV. During this time, Luke was producing her albums, as well as being an executive producer on her reality show.
It takes a turn in January 2014, when Kesha admitted herself at Timberline Knolls Rehabilitation Center outside Chicago for an eating disorder and suicidal thoughts. A doctor in the facility detailed to press that she had the same blood levels as a heart attack patient, saying she could have died any day before admitting herself. There was minimal evidence surrounding why she went, but she was released in early March 2014 and remained very quiet about her career for months.
In October 2014, Kesha filed a lawsuit on Dr. Luke on the allegation of physical and sexual assault. Specific pieces included Luke calling her as fat “as a fucking refrigerator” on the set of her music video for “Die Young,” drugging her with “sober pills” (the date rape drug), threatening to remove writing credits off of her songs, forcing himself to be an executive producer on her reality show, and threatening her career and family if anything was ever said.
The same exact day in 2014 the law suit was filed in California, Luke filed for defamation in New York, stating her allegations were false and were meant to get Kesha out of her record contract. The trial has been continuous to this day, with few things happening after it was initially filed. Later in June 2015, Kesha would add that representatives of Sony knew the abuse was occurring and did nothing to stop.
In February 2015, Kesha filed a preliminary injunction in New York to end her contract with Luke’s label and Sony’s RCA Records. She was not able to release new material, and because of this she could not tour, nor get sponsors. Her lawyer argued that if the trial goes on for much longer, her career will become seriously damaged.
A year later, in February 2016, Kesha was denied her preliminary injunction in New York, and given a final court date for May 18, 2015. Protestors outside the courthouse swelled in anger, spreading the hashtags “#FreeKesha” and “#SonySupportsRape.”
The general public caught onto the case and learned the outcome. Many musicians, producers, and actors tweeted and addressed support for Kesha, including Kelly Clarkson, Adele, Troye Sivan, Zedd, Lily Allen, Jack Antonoff, and Lorde. Taylor Swift also showed support, donating $250,000 to Kesha to help pay for legal fees, as well as Lady Gaga, dedicating her performance at the 2016 Academy Awards to the pop star, singing her Oscar-Nominated song, “’Til It Happens To You,” for the documentary about college campus sexual assault The Hunting Ground.
There is currently a petition to release Kesha from her contract with her alleged abuser, specifically to boycott Sony products until the pop star and her alleged rapist are not in contact at all. The link is below: