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Judge rules against Kesha in alleged rape case

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By AMANDA CASE

3/1/16

Pop star Kesha Rose Serbert, formerly known as Ke$ha, 28, has been fighting for her freedom after claiming that her producer at Sony Music, Dr. Luke (Lukasz Gottwald), drugged and raped her a decade ago and has been committing ongoing abuse toward her.

Last week, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich denied the “Tik Tok” singer’s request to void her contract with Gottwald after she accused him back in October 2014.

“You’re asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry,” Kornreich said to Kesha’s attorney, Mark Geragos.

Kornreich also told Geragos that prior information “decimates [his] argument” and added that her “instinct is to do the commercially reasonable thing.”

Gottwald denied all accusations and has reportedly invested $60 million into Kesha’s career. According to the New York Daily News, Kesha’s contract states she will have to produce six more albums with the label.

However, after the ruling, Gottwald’s lawyer, Christine Lepera, released a statement, saying that “the New York County Supreme Court on Friday found that Kesha is already ‘free’ to record and release music without working with Dr. Luke as a producer if she doesn’t want to, any claim that she isn’t ‘free’ is a myth.”

The statement also brought up that Kesha never reported abuse or rape to any law enforcement authority or to Sony Music, and also had sworn under oath in 2011 that it never actually occurred.

Back in June 2015, Los Angeles Superior Court judge Barbara Scheper noted that there was “no evidence to support her assertion that the agreements were not entered into freely or voluntarily as a result of arm’s length negotiations.”

Geragos told Billboard in a statement that the lawsuit was “a wholehearted effort by Kesha to regain control of her music career and her personal freedom after suffering for ten years as a victim of mental manipulation, emotional abuse and sexual assault at the hands of Dr. Luke.”

He went onto say that Kesha is “focused on moving her life and her career beyond this terrible time.”

The ruling against Kesha has outraged her fans and resulted in the fan-led #FreeKesha campaign on social media. She has also received outpouring support from fellow celebrities such as Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga, Lorde, Kelly Clarkson, Adele and more. Singer Taylor Swift recently showed her support by donating $250,000 to Kesha “to help with any of her financial needs during this trying time,” according to a statement from Swift’s publicist.

“I’m on Kesha’s side,” said University at Albany senior Meagan Callahan. “I understand she is under contract with the producer, but Dr. Luke should face jail time.”

Michelle Minissale, also a senior at UAlbany, said “I can’t believe they won’t break her contract. She needs all the support she can get and it’s unfortunate she won’t be getting that from her label.”

Since the ruling, Scott A. Edelman, an attorney representing Sony, has spoken out saying, “Sony is doing everything it can to support the artist in these circumstances, but is legally unable to terminate the contract to which it is not a party.” The label can’t terminate Kesha’s contract because it belongs to Gottwald’s company, Kasz Money, which has a separate deal with Sony’s RCA/Jive subsidiary.

Earlier this week, Gottwald tweeted “I didn’t rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her. Kesha and I were friends for many years and she was like my little sister.”

Kesha also spoke about her relationship with Sony on Facebook this week saying “All I ever wanted was to be able to make music without being afraid, scared, or abused.”

In the same post, she expressed gratitude towards her fans by writing “I’m so, so beyond humbled and thankful for all of the support I’ve received from everyone. Words cannot really express the emotions I’ve gone through reading and seeing how amazing everyone has been to me. I can’t believe that so many people all over the world took the time to show me support and love. Other entertainers who knowingly put their own careers at stake by supporting me, I will be forever grateful.”

She also encouraged others who have been abused to not be afraid to speak out.

“I for one, will stand beside you and behind you,” she said. “I know now how this all feels and will forever fight for you the way perfect strangers have been fighting for me.”

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