Kesha fans are keeping up the pressure on Sony Music Entertainment. They’re planning a rally outside the music corporation’s New York City headquarters to demand her release from producer Dr. Luke’s record label over sexual assault allegations.
“This case represents the unfair treatment of sexual assault survivors around the globe,” said Lacey Kohlmoos, an organizing strategist for Care2 Online.
“It is important for Sony to see the uproar they have caused, so protesters are bringing it right to their front door,” she added. Her group has been organizing the “#FreeKesha” protest.
In a related development, Kesha cancelled an appearance at Loyola University in Chicago, scheduled the same day as the rally, Friday (Feb. 26). The singer notified the college yesterday and apparently plans to be at the rally.
The dispute, which has been going on for more than two years, took a bitter turn this week.
Dr. Luke’s camp released damaging excerpts of a video deposition from a 2011 lawsuit. Kesha and her mother both deny that she was assaulted or drugged by Luke, real name Lukasz Gottwald.
The deposition, essentially pre-trial testimony, will have no bearing on Kesha’s lawsuit and would be inadmissible as evidence. But from a public relations standpoint, it cast doubt on her rape claims.
Her lawyer, Mark Gregaros, claimed Gottwald “coerced” the pop singer and her mother to lie under oath under a threat that he would ruin her career.
Kesha’s team fired back yesterday by selectively releasing her civil complaint. It documents nearly a decade of alleged abuse and exploitation. Kesha was reportedly left “broken, damaged and traumatized” by the ordeal and spent time in rehab for an eating disorder.
The thrust of the complaint is that Luke tried to gain control of Kesha “emotionally and professionally” by subjecting her to a pattern of “pathological abuse.”
Gottwald allegedly bragged of his sexual exploits even though he was married and continued hooking up with women while his wife was pregnant. His goal was to “to intimidate, torment and desensitize her, so that she would eventually succumb to his sexual advances which were, they state, continuous,” according to the court filing.
IM first reported on Kesha’s dispute in Jan. 2014. At the time, the main issue was the direction of her music and her career. But 10 months later she upped the stakes by filing her sexual assault lawsuit.
Kesha was in court last Friday (Feb. 19) seeking an injunction to prevent Luke from working with her. She also wanted to release an album outside of Sony. The judge denied the motion citing contractual legalities.
The judge noted that Sony had agreed to let Kesha work with another producer. She’s under contract for six more albums.
But lead organizer Michael Eisle rejected the deal.
“Kesha was offered by Sony to record music with producers other than Dr. Luke. However, Kesha is signed with Kemosabe, Dr. Luke’s recording label, which is under Sony Music’s umbrella. Therefore, any music Kesha is expected to release will be under his label, have his name on it, earn him profits and will be undoubtedly left to plummet…regardless of who the producer is.”
Eisele said he will also hand-deliver fan emails addressed to Sony Music.
“Kesha is not free,” said Eisele. “She is contractually obligated to record and release eight albums with Dr. Luke. As a result, she cannot continue her career safely and her work will continue to have her alleged abuser’s name on it, which merely adds insult to injury.”
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