#FreeKesha: A legal battle about a lot more than just music By Isadora Linheira

#FreeKesha: A legal battle about a lot more than just music
By Isadora Linheira

keshaphotoKesha cries while in court after the judge decided that the allegations were vague. Photo credit: USA Today.

The artist who got famous with her first hit “Tik-Tok,” Kesha Rose Sebert, better known as Ke$ha, is going through a legal battle against her music producer and possible abuser, Dr. Luke.
Dr. Luke is a successful, well-known music producer who has created huge hits for the likes of Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson and Pink. Since his label is owned by Sony Music Entertainment (SME), that gives SME full rights to his services as a producer.
But in October 2014, Kesha and her lawyers filed a lawsuit alleging that, for the entirety of her career, she had been controlled and abused by Dr. Luke. According to Kesha, the producer persuaded her to sign with his label, promising her fame and fortune and has been pulling her strings ever since.
“For the past 10 years, Dr. Luke has sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally abused Ms. Sebert to the point where Ms. Sebert nearly lost her life,” the suit alleged.
“Dr. Luke abused Ms. Sebert in order to destroy her self-confidence, self-image, and self-worth so that he could maintain complete control over her life and career.” The suit included claims of multiple instances where Dr. Luke had “forced himself” on Kesha while she was “intoxicated and drugged,” and then threatened her into silence. The suit also claimed her continued association with the record producer would be “life threatening.”
Dr. Luke and his lawyers filed a suit against Kesha, claiming her allegations were defamatory and were an attempt to release Kesha from her exclusive agreement with Dr. Luke.
In 2015, Kesha and her attorney Mark Geragos petitioned for a preliminary injunction in her case. Geragos stated the motion was to hasten a decision in her case and allow her to record with other labels and producers in the meantime. “Her brand value has fallen,” Geragos stated. “And unless the court issues this injunction, Kesha will suffer irreparable harm, plummeting her career past the point of no return.”
A judge for the New York Supreme Court said her allegations were vague and there was no medical evidence provided to back up her claims of abuse. The injunction was denied, and her fans, outside the courthouse and around the world, reacted with anger.
Kesha posted on her Instagram account a day before the ruling came down, saying, “I have nothing left to hide.” She wrote, “I did this because the truth was eating away my soul and killing me from the inside. 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.”
Fans and many other artists are supporting Kesha such as Demi Lovato, Lena Dunhan, Kelly Clarkson – who worked with Dr. Luke previously — Taylor Swift – who donated $250,000 to Kesha to help her. Since Kesha is not allowed to work with anyone other than Dr. Luke, Jack Antonoff tweeted her saying he would gladly work with her, producing her music and leaking it to fans.
Fans and feminist protesters are raising their voices online, starting petitions, and promoting hashtags to make Sony end any contract between Kesha and Dr. Luke, so she will never have to work for her abuser.
The topic has also brought to the surface the lives of many superstars who start at a young age and are exposed to drugs, mental, sexual and physical abuse by producers, managers, and people related to them. Kesha seems to be the new advocate for the cause, getting the attention of many and being supported by important voices in the music industry. Lady Gaga not only supported Kesha, but also dedicated her performance at the Oscars to her and many other people who suffered with sexual abuse with the song “Till It Happens To You.”
The allegations and the legal battle are not over yet. Many tweets, personal messages and emails are being collected by Kesha’s lawyers to prove that Dr. Luke was in fact her abuser.
To keep up with the trial online, you can follow the hashtag #freekesha on twitter, where the movement to support Kesha has taken form.

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