Kesha Cries in Court as She Is Denied Request to Release Music Without Dr. Luke Amid Sexual Assault Lawsuit

The singer, who sued him in 2014, reportedly reacted with sobs

By Baker Machado, Corinne Heller Feb 19, 2016 10:35 PMTags
KeshaAP Photo/Mary Altaffer

UPDATE: Dr. Luke's attorney has released a statement in response to the court decision. Read it below.


Kesha got emotional Friday after suffering a legal setback in her ongoing legal battle against Dr. Luke.

The 28-year-old pop, born Kesha Rose Sebert, had sued the producer, whose real name is Luke Gottwald, in 2014, claiming sexual assault and battery and seeking to invalidate recording contracts she had signed with him. In a countersuit, he called her allegations "defamatory" and claimed he was being extorted. Kesha sought a preliminary injunction that would allow her to release music outside of Dr. Luke's authority. On Friday, A judge denied the request.

Kesha reacted with sobs. She exited the courtroom looking somber, wearing sunglasses, and greeted dozens of supporters who held a protest for her. The was no immediate response from her lawyer.

Dr. Luke's attorney, Christine Lepera, said they are pleased with the court's decision.

"As the Court recognized, Ms. Sebert has always had the ability to proceed with her career if she so chooses," the lawyer said in a statement. "We remain confident that when all the facts are presented that Ms. Sebert's allegations against Luke will be shown to be completely false and were asserted solely to extort money and gain contractual leverage."

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Justice Shirley Kornreich announced Kesha would have to keep recording with Sony and Dr. Luke, who co-founded a label owned by the record company, but does not have to have any contact with him, the newspaper said.

"She's being given the opportunity to record, she can record," Page Six quoted the judge as saying. "She does not have to have any interface at all with Mr. Gottwald in recording or producing."

The judge said Sony had given Kesha the opportunity to record music without Dr. Luke's involvement, a claim Kesha's lawyer had argued is an "elusive promise" designed to set the singer up for failure because Sony has allegedly "sided with Dr. Luke" and therefore would not promote her music, Vulture said.

The judge also asked for more details about the alleged assaults, according to BuzzFeed reporter Mary Georgantopoulos.

"You're asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry," The Hollywood Reporter quoted her as saying. "I don't understand why I have to take the extraordinary measure of granting an injunction."

Ethan Miller/Michael Kovac/Getty Images for City of Hope

In his countersuit, Dr. Luke had accused Kesha's mother and manager of tortious interference with contractual relationships, meaning they allegedly convinced Kesha to question the validity of her recording contracts. His claims against the two were dismissed earlier this month.

Earlier this week, Kesha thanks her fans for their support and also posted an emotional message about her lawsuit.

A photo posted by Kesha (@iiswhoiis) on

"I have nothing left to hide. I did this because the truth was eating away my soul and killing me from the inside," she wrote. "This is not just for me. This is for every woman, every human who has ever been abused. Sexually. Emotionally. Mentally. I had to tell the truth. so the outcome will be what it will be. There's nothing left I can do. it's just so scary to have zero control in your fate. but this is my path this life for whatever reason.... #Friday."

Watch: Kesha Dishes on Acting Lessons and New Music

(Originally published Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, at 11:40 a.m. PDT.)