Dr Luke and Kesha accepted an award for Songwriter of the Year at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards in 2011. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Dr Luke and Kesha accepted an award for
Songwriter of the Year at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards in 2011. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Kesha will have plenty of heartbreak to sing about after a judge today refused to release her from her Sony Music Entertainment recording contract. Whether she’ll be forced to continue working with her alleged rapist, producer Dr. Luke, is unclear.

The Judge said she didn’t have to. But Kesha claimed that Sony will force her to work with Luke, real name Lukasz Gottwald, as TheImproper previously reported.

Otherwise, she added, the music label won’t promote her music, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. Sony has a substantial financial stake in the release of six more albums under her contract.

In fact, the music company argued that it would suffer “irreparable financial harm” if Kesha failed to fulfill her side of the bargain.

Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich agreed. Sony would suffer “irreparable harm,” she said. Kornreich urged Kesha to accept a label offer to let her work with another producer, according to gossip site TMZ.

Lawyers for Sony filed a motion to dismiss the case and Kornreich took the matter under advisement.

Kesha, 28, left the court in tears.

A handful of fans also turned out for a courthouse protest. They chanted “Free Kesha now,” when the singer appeared on the courthouse steps. IM first reported two day ago that Kesha would be in court today (Feb. 19).

The singer also launched a petition drive that has so far netted more than 120,000 signatures supporting her demand. Kesha’s lawsuit, filed in October 2014, alleges that Luke fed her drugs and sexually assaulted her a number of times during the production of her first two albums. She also charged Luke with manipulating her with drugs and alcohol and sexually assaulting her starting when she was 18.

Before she made the allegations, however, an artistic difference over the direction of Kesha’s musical style was reportedly at the heart of their dispute. Kesha wanted to change to a more rock style and leave behind the dance-driven music that made her first album Animal a success. But her more rock-inflected second album, Warrior, did not sell as well.

In today’s hearing, Kesha was seeking an injunction that would allow her to release her next album outside of Sony. She also wanted a preliminary injunction to prevent Luke from working with her.

She claimed her career would be “effectively over” if she were barred from releasing new music with another producer and label. Dr. Luke’s countersuit, charging breach of contract and defamation, had been tossed out of court. He has strongly denied the charges.

For the latest developments in the case, be sure to follow IM on Twitter.