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Kesha’s New York Times profile part of a “co-ordinated campaign to mislead the public”, says Dr Luke’s lawyer

By | Published on Thursday 27 October 2016


Legal representatives for producer Dr Luke have reacted angrily to a newly published profile on Kesha in the New York Times Magazine. They claim that the article contains “many inaccuracies” and falls into a “continuing co-ordinated press campaign by Kesha to mislead the public”.

The main focus of the article is the career limbo in which Kesha finds herself as she continues to pursue legal action against Luke, with whom she has various active deals, including with his Sony Music imprint Kemosabe. She is described in the piece as “a popstar suspended in a Jell-O mould of paralysis, unable to put out new music until all of this is resolved”.

Kesha’s accusations against the producer of rape and later verbal abuse are reiterated, alongside a discussion of the new music she has recorded but has been unable to release as of yet. It also says that “Kesha has no ability to earn money, outside of touring for audiences of a few hundred, paying expenses from her own pocket”, suggesting that Luke maybe suppressing her new music as a means to ensure that she runs out of funds to continue with her litigation.

All of which is disputed in a lengthy statement from Dr Luke’s lawyer, Christine Lepera.

“The reality is that for well over two years, Kesha chose – and it was entirely her choice – not to provide her label with any music”, says Lepera. “Kesha was always free to move forward with her music, and an album could have been released long ago had she done so. She exiled herself”.

Lepera continues: “[Kesha] provided 22 recordings [in June and July this year] created without any label consultation which were not in compliance with her contract, were in various stages of development, and which Kesha’s own team acknowledged needed work. Then, and for the last several months, the label has been in discussions with Kesha and her team to choose the best music, create additional music, and work on the tracks created”.

A list of agreed producers has been signed off by both sides, a studio booked and budget set aside, the lawyer says, suggesting that it is now Kesha who is holding up the process.

Lepera concludes: “Kesha’s claim in the article that she has no ability to earn money outside of touring is completely rebutted by well documented public court records which apparently escaped the article’s attention”.

As much previously reported, Kesha’s legal battle with Dr Luke is a long and complex one, at one point straddling courts in three separate states. The key focus for most observers has been her accusations that he drugged and raped her as a teenager. He denies these claims, saying that she made these allegations in a bid to force his hand in a contractual dispute – something reiterated in Lepera’s statement, and which she says “backfired”.

Earlier this year, Kesha attempted to gain a temporary injunction allowing her to record for a label other than Sony Music, in the short term at least, in the main so that she could work without the interaction of Luke. This was rejected by the court, the judge saying that this would undermine New York State contract law and that, anyway, Sony had committed to allow her to work with another producer and imprint at the major music firm.

The other issue in that part of the dispute was that Kesha’s deal is not with Sony direct, but is funnelled through a number of Luke’s companies. She raised concerns that there was no guarantee that Sony would put any effort into promoting her new work, and that the structure of her deal meant that anything she did with the major label would still put money into the hands of the man she accuses of abusing her.

Although the PR war has generally gone in Kesha’s favour, especially this year, court proceedings have tended to side with Luke. As more of Kesha’s case has been eroded, she voluntarily dismissed litigation in California in August, that having been previously placed on hold while the breach of contract proceedings in New York continued. On that front, Kesha said later in August that she would no longer include the abuse allegations in that case.

Despite the ongoing litigation, earlier this month Sony Music told Buzzfeed that it hoped to release new music from the musician “soon”, though her lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, then said that his client had received “no commitments” with regard to this.

Meanwhile the New York Times profile made those new claims that her music was actually being suppressed. “Dr Luke has insisted Sony’s participation is just an ‘accommodation’ and has not denied that all decisions regarding the album are still being made by Dr Luke”, a rep for the singer told the publication.

Commenting on the article via Instagram, Kesha herself said: “Thank you to the New York Times for shedding light on my life and legal situation. There’s nothing harder than dreaming and working and fighting for something your whole entire life, since you were three years old, since you could speak. And you FINALLY achieve it. And then have someone else take it away from you. My heart has a giant hole in it and is literally aching and throbbing from sadness and loss. Imagine someone owning your voice… and not letting you sing. Singing is how I have dealt with everything in my life. And my right has been taken away”.

Read the New York Times article here, and Dr Luke’s full response here.

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