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In recent months, it’s almost impossible to open a magazine, turn on the news or check Twitter without seeing something about the 28-year-old singer named Kesha Rose Sebert, known to most as simply Kesha.

Kesha has been embroiled in a lawsuit with her producer Lukasz ‘Dr. Luke’ Gottwald since 2014.  The songstress moved to Los Angeles in 2005 to pursue her music career, and for the next nine years was allegedly sexually, physically and emotionally abused by Dr. Luke.  She filed a lawsuit last October, in Los Angeles, accusing Dr. Luke of sexual assault, battery and sexual harassment.  She alleges that Dr. Luke verbally and physically abused her during the years they worked together and that he drugged her with GHB and raped her while she was unconscious.

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On February 19, a New York Supreme Court Judge ruled that Kesha must remain contractually bound to Sony, under the record label called Kemosabe, created and operated by her abuser.

Kesha’s injunction request read, ‘I know I cannot work with Dr. Luke.  I physically cannot.  I don’t feel safe in any way.’  However, in the eyes of the court, the contract was to be upheld, no matter how shocking and horrifying these allegations were and continue to be.  Dr. Luke has denied all charges.

The U.S. Supreme Court has a history of determining that corporations have similar rights to people, sometimes even more so.  In a strictly legal and literal sense, Sony has invested $60 million in Kesha’s career already; it’s no surprise that the court wouldn’t consider it to be in Sony’s best interest to allow her to sever ties with the man who is her producer.  At least not until she records six more albums for them with her alleged abuser at the helm.

Join the movement and #FreeKesha.

On paper, contracts were signed, and Kesha does have a legal obligation to fulfill them.  But doesn’t Dr. Luke also have a legal obligation to not rape anyone, especially an 18-year-old who was contractually under his control?

Part of Judge Shirley Korneich’s reasoning in denying the injunction is that Sony has already agreed to keep Kesha’s work separated from Dr. Luke’s; however, he still owns the label she’s signed to.  She still remains the so-called ‘creative property’ of the man who raped her.  This is cruel and unusual punishment.  The judge told Kesha’s legal team that they are ‘asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry.’

Dr. Luke has worked with an enormous amount of other pop stars, including Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson, to name just a few.  His power and influence in the music industry is evident – and part of the reason why Kesha did not come forward for years.  Indeed, a statement in her lawsuit conveys that ‘after he drugged and raped Ms. Sebert, Dr. Luke took her down to the beach alone to ‘have a talk’ with her.  He threatened that if she ever mentioned the rape to anyone, he would shut her career down, take away all her publishing and recording rights, and otherwise destroy not only her life but her entire family’s lives, as well.’

Kesha was visibly distraught at the courthouse the day Korneich issued her ruling.  Heartbreaking pictures have emerged of the star in tears, prompting many fellow pop stars to speak up, and #FreeKesha quickly began trending.

Even with so much support flooding Kesha’s way, she's still trapped in a binding contract with her alleged abuser.

Taylor Swift has donated $250,000 to the singer to help her with any legal expenses.  Lady Gaga has vocally supported Kesha, going as far as to dedicate her Oscar’s performance of ‘Til It Happens to You’, a song about sexual assault, to the singer.  Kelly Clarkson tweeted ‘Trying 2 not say anything since I can’t say anything nice about a person…so this is me not talking about Dr. Luke.’

Kesha thanked her fans in a heartfelt note posted to her Facebook page saying, ‘But I just want to say that if you have been abused, please don’t be afraid to speak out.  There are places that will make you feel safe.  There are people who will help you.  I, for one, will stand beside you and behind you.  I know now how this all feels and will forever fight for you the way perfect strangers have been fighting for me.’

Even with all of the support flooding Kesha’s way, she is still trapped in a binding contract with her alleged abuser.  To those who question the modern need for feminism, I ask: why is Kesha unable to record while an artist like Chris Brown can still have a thriving music career?

 

 

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