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New emails surface in Kesha v Dr Luke case

By | Published on Thursday 16 February 2017


Kesha has released a series of emails between Dr Luke and her manager Monica Cornia, aiming to support her claims made during a long running legal battle that the producer has been abusive during her time working with him.

As much previously reported, this case centres on claims by Kesha Sebert that producer Dr Luke, real name Lukasz Gottwald, with whom she has several deals, has been abusive towards her during their time working together. Most seriously, she accuses him of drugging and raping her. She is seeking to be released from her various contracts with him and his companies, including his Sony Music imprint Kemosabe Records. He, meanwhile, says that the allegations against him have been fabricated and he is suing for defamation.

The legal battle was renewed late last month, after attempts to broker a settlement failed. Both sides moved to rework their claims against each other, with both ultimately claiming that the other side was attempting to ruin their career. Gottwald later countered Sebert’s new claims of withheld royalties, saying that she actually owes him $1.3 million.

The submission of these emails from 2012 into the case is seemingly an attempt to get the judge to overturn a ruling made last year which denied the singer an injunction that would release her from her recording contract while the case is ongoing, allowing her to work on new tracks without Gottwald’s involvement.

The emails particularly focus on the producer’s apparent criticism of Sebert’s weight. According to Page Six, in one he wrote: “Nobody was calling anybody out. We were having a discussion on how she can be more disciplined with her diet. There have been many times we have all witnessed her breaking her diet plan. This perticular [sic] time it happened to be Diet Coke and turkey while on an all juice fast”.

He also said that he had “a list songwriters and producers [who] are reluctant to give Kesha their songs because of her weight”.

In one email, Cornia asks Gottwald to be more supporting because Kesha is “a human and not a machine”. He replies: “If she were a machine that would be way cool and we could do whatever we want”.

On another occasion, Cornia puts forward a request from Sebert to have a line in her song ‘Crazy Kids’ changed, to which Gottwald replies: “I don’t give a shit what you want. If you were smart you would go in and sing it”.

Responding to the emails that have now been made public, Gottwald’s lawyer Christine Lepera said that the messages took conversations out of context, and failed to show ways in which he was supportive of Sebert.

“Kesha and her attorneys continue to mislead by refusing to disclose the larger record of evidence showing the bad faith of Kesha Sebert and her representatives which is greatly damaging to them”, says Lepera. “It also shows the tremendous support that Dr Luke provided Kesha regarding artistic and personal issues, including Kesha’s own concerns over her weight”.

She continues: “Rather than agree to a thorough disclosure, Kesha and her representatives improperly publicised, without court permission, three out-of-context emails which do not present the full picture regarding the events they concern. For example, these emails do not show that the lyrics of ‘Crazy Kids’ were, in fact, rewritten at Kesha’s request. Any claim by Kesha to the contrary is deceiving the public – just like her other meritless claims of wrongdoing by Dr Luke”.

“Dr Luke looks forward to full vindication in court”, she concludes.

The two sides are reportedly scheduled to have a conference call with the judge in the case next week.