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Judge dismisses Kesha’s sexual assault case against producer Dr Luke

By / March 30, 2017

Ruling comes after her attorneys argued it was slavery to continue to force the international pop star to work with companies controlled by her alleged rapist

A judge in New York has ruled against Keshas motion to end her recording contract under Sony, in a resounding rejection of the pop stars ongoing efforts to disentangle her business from her former producer and alleged rapist.

The ruling, by Judge Shirley Kornreich, comes after attorneys for Kesha argued that it was slavery to continue to force the international pop star to work with companies controlled by Dr Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald. Kesha accuses the famous producer of raping her, and she is suing Gottwald in two states for sexual assault, battery, harassment and emotional distress.

In her ruling, Kornreich held that Sonys offer for Kesha to continue to record without Gottwalds involvement but still for Gottwalds company, which Sony owns would keep Kesha sufficiently insulated from the man she says is her abuser. Kornreich also ruled that, for many of Keshas claims, the statute of limitations had expired.

Still, the judge harshly criticized the singer for failing to spell out how her claims met the legal standards for several crimes, such as severe emotional abuse or hate crimes.

There are no facts to support Gottwalds animus toward women. Gottwald is alleged to have made offensive remarks about Keshas weight, appearance, and talent, not about women in general, Kornreich wrote. Every rape is not a gender-motivated hate crime.

Allegations that Gottwald told Kesha she was worthless and instructed her to stop eating did not meet the standard for emotional abuse, Kornreich continued. Her claims of insults about her value as an artist, her looks, and her weight are insufficient to constitute extreme, outrageous conduct intolerable in civil society, which is how the law defines emotional abuse.

Kesha has said that a 2014 stint in a rehabilitation center, where she was diagnosed with bulimia, severe depression, post-traumatic stress and panic attacks, were due to Gottwalds alleged abuse.

The ruling is another loss in a series for Kesha, against an appeal of a similar ruling that Kornreich made in February.

The pop star first sued Gottwald and his companies in Los Angeles superior court in October 2014, in a lawsuit that painted a grim picture of Keshas 10-year working relationship with Gottwald: Kesha claims Gottwald sexually abused her almost immediately after he had convinced her to drop out of school age 18 and move to Los Angeles in 2005. She claims that Gottwald told her to take sober pills that were actually date rape drugs, and she woke up feeling sore and ill in his hotel room with no memory of how she got there. In 2008, Kesha claims, Gottwald forced her to snort drugs before boarding an airplane and raped her on the flight, when she was intoxicated.

Gottwald has denied all her accusations. Within hours of Kesha filing her suit, Gottwald filed his own lawsuit against the singer, her mother, and her manager in New York. Gottwald claimed that Kesha was in breach of contract and had defamed him. Kesha countersued, making the same claims of abuse and assault she made in California.

In her ruling, Kornriech appears to contradict reports that Kesha filed her suit first, and Gottwald countersued, writing: In 2014, Gottwald commenced the instant breach of contract action in New York. Immediately thereafter, Kesha brought an action in California, alleging claims for sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender violence.

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