By Amanda Wicks
Kesha and Dr. Luke have requested permission to amend their respective counterclaims after private talks between both parties went south earlier in January.
The court initially ordered Kesha’s and Luke’s legal counsel to discuss a settlement in private chambers, but things didn’t go well and on Monday (January 30th) both Kesha and Luke sought permission from New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich to update their claims.
Kesha claimed that even though she’s been working on new music, she’s still not free from Dr. Luke because she’s contracted to his record label, Kemosabe Records. “After a February 19, 2016, preliminary injunction hearing, Kesha Rose Sebert is, for the time being, no longer forced to record in the same room with Lukasz ‘Dr. Luke’ Gottwald, the abusive music producer who has had her under contract for the past eleven years,” Kesha’s updated counterclaim stated. “But allowing Kesha to make music outside Dr. Luke’s presence does not free her from her abuser’s control” (via The Hollywood Reporter).
According to her, the label has not approved any new music or set a release date for her next album. On top of that, Dr. Luke has withheld certain royalties. “Still, he has not paid her all of the amounts owed,” the counterclaim added. “Dr. Luke has similarly worked to deprive Kesha of royalties from ‘Timber,’ the multimillion-unit hit that she recorded and co-wrote with Pitbull. Until the issue was raised with the Court, Kesha had received none of the recording royalties or publishing royalties on ‘Timber’ she was owed.”
Dr. Luke’s amended counterclaim stated that Kesha and her mother have engaged in a purposeful smear campaign in order to blacklist him from the music industry. That included texting Lady Gaga disparaging comments about Luke one week after losing her preliminary injunction. “During this text message conversation, Kesha falsely and baselessly asserted that Kesha and another female recording artist (the ‘Other Recording Artist’) had both been raped by Gottwald,” Luke’s counterclaim stated, specifying that while Kesha did not explicitly use Luke’s name in the text message, the context implied that’s who she meant. “Kesha’s assertions to Lady Gaga were completely false. Gottwald did not rape Kesha, and he did not rape the Other Recording Artist,” his claim added.
In an additional statement to Radio.com, Christine Lepera, an attorney representing Dr. Luke says “Dr. Luke seeks to add an additional defamation claim against Kesha based upon the discovery of another false and defamatory statement she made about him that was part of her calculated effort to harm his reputation and business. Kesha’s new proposed counterclaim simply repeats the meritless and untrue allegations that were set forth in her earlier pleadings and which Dr. Luke fully disputes.”
For Kesha, things could get far worse when Sony’s contract with Kemosabe ends in March 2017. “The end of this contract means that Sony may no longer have any role in the creation of Kesha’s music, leaving Kesha’s livelihood in the hands of a person aiming to bankrupt her and her family through litigation, cutting off her legitimately earned income, and personally humiliating her as he has done for years,” her claim explained.
Her legal team is seeking release from her contract under California’s Seven-Year Rule, which lets artists out of their contracts after seven years in order to avoid any potential exploitation. Although the case is playing out in New York court, Kesha’s lawyers are requesting the judge abide by California law.
Following their amended counterclaims, Kesha and Dr. Luke will soon undergo depositions wherein they must answer questions under oath.