Kesha Appeals Injunction Denial, Likens Ruling to Slavery
Kesha has appealed a judge’s decision last month to keep her in her recording contract. The pop star’s lawyers filed a notice of appeal Monday highlighting several reasons why they feel Judge Shirley Kornreich made a mistake in denying Kesha’s request for an injunction on her recording contract with Sony and several imprints associated with producer Dr. Luke.
A pre-argument statement, which Rolling Stone obtained, claims that the judge erred when she based her decision on the idea that Kesha would be able to record without Dr. Luke interfering. It likened the notion that Kesha would be recording for Dr. Luke’s imprint – even without his involvement – to “slavery.” “Although [the court] recognized that ‘slavery was done away with a long time ago.’ … the court’s ruling requiring Kesha to work for Gottwald’s companies, purportedly without his involvement, does just that,” Kesha’s lawyers said in the appeal.
Another point contested the judge’s opinion that no irreparable harm had been done to Kesha’s career, citing affidavits by industry experts who agreed that “a young pop star’s fame will fade quickly, and permanently, due to a loss of momentum.” Finally, the document alleges that the court miscalculated the balance of equities involved on the business-side of the case, favoring Sony Music Entertainment, and it argued that Dr. Luke could make recordings with anyone.
A representative for Dr. Luke submitted a statement to Rolling Stone that upheld the judge’s opinion of the last point. “The Court repeatedly stated Kesha was already free to record without Dr. Luke, and that she had not presented any facts supporting her claims,” the rep says. “That’s because all the evidence – including Kesha’s own sworn testimony – show her allegations are false. Her attorneys can continue manufacturing even more false and outrageous claims, but the fact remains that her time would be better spent in a studio than wasting time having her lawyer and mother spin lies in the media.”
Last September, Kesha filed the motion for a preliminary injunction, which, if granted, would have allowed her to record outside of Sony Music. Her lawyers applied for the injunction when they realized that litigation related to her previous lawsuit, alleging Dr. Luke had drugged and sexually assaulted her, could keep her out of the public eye long enough to potentially hurt her career. The judge made her decision on February 19th.
Kesha filed her initial suit against Dr. Luke in October 2014, with causes of action including “sexual assault and battery, harassment, violation of California’s unfair business laws and the intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.” Dr. Luke countersued Kesha shortly thereafter, alleging defamation and breach of contract, and he alleged Kesha’s mother and others interfered with the carrying out of singer’s recording contract. Although the suit was initially expected to be tried in Los Angeles, it was moved to New York.
The singer’s fans have since launched “Free Kesha” protests, and Dr. Luke has denied her allegations, explicitly saying “I didn’t rape Kesha” in a tweet. He also refuted rumors that Sony was considering severing ties with him.