Kesha's Request for Removal From Her Contract With Dr. Luke Has Been Denied… Again


Can Kesha catch a fucking break?

Here’s a refresher: Back in 2014, Kesha filed a lawsuit requesting to be removed from her contract with Kemosabe Records, an imprint of major label Sony Music owned and operated by Dr. Luke (born Lukas Gottwald) who she alleges sexually, physically, and emotionally abused her. In 2016, a New York judge denied her injunction to be removed from the label, despite her sexual assault accusations, due to a lack of medical evidence. In 2017, she amended a countersuit against Luke, which was shot down by New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich. For that reason, it is likely that Luke profited from her last album, 2017’s Rainbow, a brave, larger-than-life release that directly reflects her ongoing battles with her former collaborator—both in court and out of it.

On Tuesday, Kesha hit yet another roadblock on her path to creative freedom. According to the Hollywood Reporter, a New York appeals court affirmed the previous judge’s decision to reject Kesha’s counterclaims to have herself removed from contracts with Dr. Luke/Kemosabe.

Her countersuit read:

“You can get a divorce from an abusive spouse. You can dissolve a partnership if the relationship becomes irreconcilable. The same opportunity—to be liberated from the physical, emotional, and financial bondage of a destructive relationship—should be available to a recording artist.”

In the suit, Kesha claimed it is impossible for her to work with Kemosabe but because she released a new album and performed in the interim, her request was denied. The decision, made in a New York appellate court, reads as follows:

“Kesha’s proposed amendments are palpably insufficient and devoid of merit. Her counterclaim seeking declaratory relief terminating the agreements on the ground of impossibility and impracticability of performance was speculative, contradicted by her own allegations that she had continued performing under the agreements and, as to at least one of the agreements, the impossibility was not produced by an unanticipated event that could not have been foreseen or guarded against. The court also properly denied Kesha leave to assert a counterclaim for declaratory relief terminating the agreements on the ground that they violate California Labor Code § 2855, as the unambiguous New York choice-of-law provisions contained in the agreements preclude the application of that California statute. There was no basis to invalidate the choice of law clauses.”

This may very well be the final blow in Kesha’s battle for contractural freedom from Luke. THR’s report ends with the suggestion that the producer’s lawsuit could be headed to trial, where Luke will attempt to prove that Kesha’s sexual abuse allegations were, in fact, defamation.

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