What kind of bullshit world do we live in where a pop star is forced to stay in her contract with a producer who sexually, physically and verbally abused her because it’s the “commercially reasonable thing” to do?!
That’s a direct quote from the ruling judge, New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich, in singer Kesha’s case against producer Dr Luke, Lukasz Gottwald, which was in court over the weekend.
The now 28 year old star, real name Kesha Rose Sebert, filed a suit back in October 2014 against her producer and collaborator Dr Luke, claiming that she’d been under his suffocating control since she first signed with him at the age of 18. In the lawsuit, she then goes on to detail the various forms of sexual and emotional abuse she’s suffered in the years she was forced to work with him. E! Online attained a copy of the full lawsuit which you can read for yourself here: http://images.eonline.com/static/news/pdf/Kesha.pdf
It’s full on stuff. There are claims that he continually took aim at her self-worth with a barrage of negative comments about her appearance and talent and that he took control of her career from a young age with lengthy, one-sided contracts that have stunted her opportunity to make any real money.
But far and away the most troubling claims are those of sexual harassment and battery, including the allegation that he drugged and sexually assaulted her.
So when I saw the words “commercially reasonable” in this context of this case, it pissed me right off. Because success, notoriety and commercial viability should NEVER be taken into account to justify or excuse such deplorable actions, ESPECIALLY in a court of law. And not when someone’s health and safety is in question.
Gottwald himself has countersued, claiming defamation and a breach of contract.
Presiding judge, Justice Kornreich, said Kesha was “asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry.” Furthermore, Justice Kornreich went on to say that “there has been no showing of irreparable harm. She’s being given opportunity to record.”
I understand no criminal charges have been filed against Dr Luke but the fact remains – Kesha has gone on record as saying “I know I cannot work with Dr Luke. I physically cannot. I don’t feel safe in any way.”
Kesha entered into rehab in January 2014 to treat bulimia and the physiological effects of the abuse allegedly suffered at Gottwald’s hands.
And yet she fights. For her creative freedom, knowing that she may never get peace when it comes to her private battle.
So if Kesha’s claims are to be believed, think about the strength it takes to come out against someone so powerful? More than that, what could she possibly have to gain by manufacturing these claims, given that she’s already facing ridicule, suspicion and a stalled recording career?
As one article pointed out, it’s taken 50 women coming forward against Bill Cosby for a criminal charge to be laid, so she must know the odds are stacked against her and her lone voice.
Both Madonna and Lady Gaga have gone on record in the past saying that they too have been the victims of sexual abuse but were too afraid of the backlash and humiliation it may have caused if they went public.
What does this say to any woman fighting to be heard, fearing she won’t be understood or worse, won’t be believed? That if she is brave enough to come forward and say this is what happened to me and I won’t stay silent any more, there’s a fair chance she’ll be belittled, disrespected and silenced regardless?
The injunction is just part of her greater legal case against Gottwald. And whilst Sony have said that Kesha is free to record without Dr Luke being present, the fact remains that she’s still signed to his bloody label, giving him creative control. All her work would be his property.
Some powerful female singers were quick to come out in support of Kesha, including Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Kelly Clarkson, herself a frequent collaborator with Gottwald.
And just this afternoon, a spokesperson for Taylor Swift confirmed that she has donated a whopping $250,000 to help Kesha as a sign of support.
Because this isn’t just about a pop star wanting her own way about the direction of her career.
This is a about her health, her sanity, her LIFE.
Do you think Kesha should be granted an injunction?