Kesha Appeals February Court Ruling Binding Her to Dr. Luke
One month after Kesha's request for an injunction against producer Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald was denied by a New York City Supreme Court judge, the singer-songwriter has filed an appeal against that decision.
In papers filed on Monday (March 21), Kesha and attorney Mark Geragos request that a New York appellate court reexamine the decision made by Justice Shirley Kornreich on February 19, which they say maintains Kesha's professional and financial ties to the man she claims both sexually and emotionally abused her.
"Plaintiff seeks reversal of the Order on the following grounds," it says in the appeal, THR reports. "First, the Court erred in basing its decision on its finding that Kesha could record without interference from Gottwald. Although it recognized that 'slavery was done away with a long time ago' and that '[y]ou can't force someone to work … in a situation in which they don't want to work,' the Court's ruling requiring Kesha to work for Gottwald's companies, purportedly without his involvement, does just that."
The issue of whether or not Kesha remains constrained by her business relationship with Dr. Luke under Sony remains a central point of debate between the two legal parties.
"My instinct is to do the commercially reasonable thing," Kornreich reportedly told Kesha and her counsel upon rejecting the injunction request, which would have allowed Kesha to record without Dr. Luke's direct or indirect involvement, back in February. Kesha received a groundswell of support from fans and celebrities in the weeks following the decision.
Lena Dunham wrote about the legal battle in an essay for her Lenny newsletter, in which she addressed the fact that Gottwald's had a powerful creative and financial claim on Kesha since she signed with his Kasz Money company as a teenager (this Billboard story provides a comprehensive primer on Kesha and Dr. Luke's professional history).
"When a woman is not in control of her financial destiny, either because her partner is the primary breadwinner or because he makes financial decisions for the entire family, her world is made minuscule," Dunham wrote. "Her resources evaporate. Fear dominates.”
Gottwald has denied Kesha's claims in full. His lawyer, Christine Lepera, responded to Kesha’s appeal yesterday (via The Guardian): “The court repeatedly stated Kesha was already free to record without Dr Luke, and that she had not presented any facts supporting her claims. That’s because all the evidence – including Kesha’s own sworn testimony – show her allegations are false. Her attorneys can continue manufacturing even more false and outrageous claims, but the fact remains that her time would be better spent in a studio than wasting time having her lawyer and mother spin lies in the media.”
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