Judge denies singer Kesha’s sexual abuse appeal against producer
NEW YORK — A New York judge threw out Kesha’s appeal Wednesday in her case against Sony Music.
Kesha, the singer known for hits such as “Tik Tok” and “Die Young,” had appealed a decision in February that said she could not be released from her contract with producer Dr. Luke.
Kesha has alleged that Dr. Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, had sexually, emotionally and physically abused her. Dr. Luke’s record label is affiliated with Sony.
Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Shirley Werner Kornreich noted that Kesha had “failed to plead that any of the alleged discrimination occurred in New York State or City,” and that the court had no jurisdiction over the claims.
The court also denied Kesha’s claims that Dr. Luke’s abuse constituted a hate crime.
“Although Gottwald’s alleged actions were directed to Kesha, who is female, (her claims) do not allege that Gottwald harbored animus toward women or was motivated by gender animus when he allegedly behaved violently toward Kesha,” the judge wrote. “Every rape is not a gender-motivated hate crime.”
Moreover, the decision said that the statute of limitations on the claims had expired.
CNN has reached out to representatives of Dr. Luke and Kesha for statements.
The case has attracted widespread interest, with many celebrities tweeting their support. Taylor Swift pledged to donate $250,000 to support Kesha.
Kesha, whose full name is Kesha Rose Sebert, alleged in a suit filed in Los Angeles in 2014 that Dr. Luke, a powerful figure in pop music, persuaded her to move away from her family in Nashville at 18 to pursue a glamorous career as a pop star in 2005.
Dr. Luke has denied abuse or rape. After Korneich’s February ruling he said on Twitter that he did not rape Kesha and never had sex with her. He cited court proceedings in 2011 in which Kesha testified that the date rape never took place.
Gottwald brought the dispute cross-country by filing a lawsuit in New York Superior Court alleging defamation and breach of contract, claiming New York was the appropriate venue for claims related to their contracts. The California court stayed Kesha’s lawsuit pending resolution of the actions in New York, prompting Kesha to file counterclaims alleging sexual harassment, gender-based violation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Kesha is seeking undisclosed monetary damages and to be let out of her contracts. She has asked to record outside the purview of Dr. Luke, saying that as long as she’s tied to the producer her career will suffer.