Sexual abuse, court cases, a shout-out from Adele and support from Lady Gaga?! Wowowow what is going on with Kesha, and why does she need to be freed?
Following a string of lawsuits between Kesha and her producer Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, things came to a head recently with an announcement on February 19 that the New York courts denied her a preliminary injunction which means she would not be allowed to develop her singing career outside her Dr. Luke/Sony contract.
Let's start from the beginning.
2013: Petition to free Kesha from her contract receives thousands of signatures
An online petition started by a fan to let Kesha end her contract amassed 12,000 signatures.
The partnership between her and Dr. Luke seemed to have soured after a long period of success in which she was catapulted to the top with hits 'Tik Tok' and 'Take it Off.'
Cracks started to show when she claimed she was being forced to sing 'Die Young' in 2012, and had no creative control at all over her second album Warrior. She elaborated on this theme later in her reality TV show My Crazy Beautiful Life.
Her Mom, Pebe Sebert, spoke out on social media against Dr. Luke, accusing him of instigating her daughters eating disorder. The co-director of the My Crazy Beautiful Life, Steven Greenstreet, tweeted this image from one of Kesha's concerts:
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Kesha revealed how little independence she felt she had:
RS: You don’t have any creative control now?
K: Not really. What’s been put out as singles have just perpetuated a particular image that may or may not be entirely accurate. I’d like to show the world other sides of my personality.
I don’t want to just continue putting out the same song and becoming a parody myself. I have so much more to offer than that and I can’t wait till the world really gets to hear that on the radio.
October 2014: Dr. Luke accused of sexual assault
Kesha claimed in a lawsuit in October 2014 that her producer of 10 years had sexually assaulted her repeatedly, as well as forcing drugs and alcohol on her.
TMZ were first to report. They said:
Kesha claims he forced her to snort something before getting on a plane … and during the trip he forced himself on her while she was drugged.
On another occasion, Kesha claims after forcing her to drink with him, Dr. Luke gave her what he called "sober pills."
Kesha claims she woke up the following afternoon, naked in Dr. Luke's bed, sore, sick … and with no memory of how she got there.
Luke vehemently denied these claims.
October 2014: Luke accuses Kesha of lies
Dr. Luke filed his own lawsuit in response, claiming the pop star was guilty of defamation – meaning she had stated facts about Dr. Luke either maliciously or falsely – and for breaking her contract.
Luke blamed her mother and managers for the legal action. He said he had had a copy of the lawsuit for months, and that Kesha was trying to extort him.
His lawyer said to Rolling Stone:
Kesha and her mother are engaged in a campaign of publishing outrageous and untrue statements about Dr. Luke to third parties, including scurrilous and false statements of purported physical and mental abuse of Kesha
December 2014: Luke sues Kesha's lawyer
Dr. Luke then went one step further by filing a lawsuit claiming that Kesha's lawyer, Mark Geragos, had defamed him.
Geragos had implied in his tweets, some of which have now been deleted, that Dr. Luke had also sexually assaulted Lady Gaga.
On Monday in a New York court, Gottwald and his attorneys filed suit against Geragos for the "horrific, outrageous and maliciously false assertion that [Gottwald] raped the world famous musical artist Lady Gaga."
The lawsuit claims Geragos' comments were intended to "humiliate and severely damage"
February 2015: Kesha wears bold dress at New York Fashion Week
The words "You Will Never Own Me" may have been an explicit statement intended for Luke in this Instagram post by the singer, which was later deleted.
September 2015: Kesha asks to be free of Dr. Luke
The superstar requested a temporary injunction that would allow her to ignore her contract with Dr. Luke and Sony and reignite her stalled career.
She cannot work with music producers, publishers, or record labels to release new music. With no new music to perform, Kesha cannot tour.
Off the radio and stage and out of the spotlight, Kesha cannot sell merchandise, receive sponsorships, or get media attention.
Her brand value has fallen, and unless the Court issues this injunction, Kesha will suffer irreparable harm, plummeting her career past the point of no return.
Since then a petition by Austin Dean aimed at Sony has attracted over 200,000 signatures.
February 19, 2016: The courts reject Kesha's application
A New York judge refused her application because the contract was "heavily negotiated" and "typical" of the industry.
He also cited how Dr. Luke had offered to let Kesha finish her contract without his involvement, and how he had invested $60 million in her career.
In the latest update, Sony broke their silence through lawyer Scott Edelman telling the New York Times:
Sony has made it possible for Kesha to record without any connection, involvement or interaction with Luke whatsoever, but Sony is not in a position to terminate the contractual relationship between Luke and Kesha.
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.
A protest is now planned for today at 10am in LA outside Sony's headquarters.
Kesha wrote a Facebook post on Wednesday saying:
I'm so, so beyond humbled and thankful for all of the support I've received from everyone. All I ever wanted was to be able to make music without being afraid, scared, or abused.
"This is about being free from my abuser. I would be willing to work with Sony if they do the right thing and break all ties that bind me to my abuser.
Adele stated her support to the four million people watching the BAFTAs as she clutched her first award of the night earlier this week.
Lady Gaga also wrote a message saying "Free Kesha" alongside this picture on Instagram: