Kesha’s Lawyer Says The Singer’s Career May Never Recover If Dr. Luke Contract Is Upheld

Carl Williott | September 21, 2015 10:30 am

Kesha‘s legal battle with Dr. Luke has already shown itself to be a messy, high-stakes affair — most recently, Kesha alleged that the famous producer once threatened to kill her dog, in addition to her original allegations of sexual abuse. But now the pop star is making a last ditch attempt to persuade the courts that her very career as a musician hangs in the balance.

One of the main facets of Kesha’s lawsuit is that her contract with Luke’s Kemosabe Records, under Sony, should be voided because she didn’t freely enter into these agreements. Her attorney Mark Geragos on Friday (September 18) argued that the longer the court waits to determine if she can get out of that contract, the less likely it is that she’ll be able to return to a successful career as a pop star.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, her team filed a memorandum supporting an injunction that would prohibit Dr. Luke from preventing her signing with another label, which read:

“Kesha is at an impasse…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.”

That paints a pretty bleak picture for her career prospects if this case doesn’t go her way, and the outlook was bolstered by an affidavit from Universal Music Group Distribution’s former president and CEO Jim Urie:

“No mainstream distribution company will invest the money necessary to distribute songs for an artist who has fallen from the public eye, as is happening to Kesha at this very moment. Accordingly, if Kesha cannot immediately resume recording and having her music promoted, marketed, and distributed by a major label, her career is effectively over.”

Of course, you could argue that there’s some courtroom flair in there. If ever there was a time when a star could rebound from major label drama or successfully operate outside that system, that time is now, in this digital age when promo cycles are often eschewed altogether. (For instance, Drake and Future are projected to sell around 500,000 copies of their album even though it was announced one day before the release and is only available on iTunes.) Kesha could certainly thrive without the label machine behind her — she’s got 3.6 million followers on Twitter and another 31M on Facebook. Imagine a Kesha mixtape! But there’s no doubt it wouldn’t be at the same blockbuster level, and there’s no doubt that languishing in label limbo has wasted some of those prime pop star years of an artist’s late 20s. Not to mention there’s only going to be more competition that sprouts up in the meantime.

In addition to the preliminary injunction, Kesha filed more allegations, saying Luke “took credit for songs he didn’t write, for a television show he didn’t actually produce.” “I know I cannot work with Dr. Luke,” she said in the affidavit. “I physically cannot. I don’t feel safe in any way.”

Of course, Dr. Luke has disputed all the charges in the lawsuit (and filed a defamation suit). And now Sony has weighed in, seeking to have the claims dismissed after Kesha formally added Sony to the lawsuit for allegedly being complicit in Luke’s alleged abuse.

“Sebert cannot have it both ways: She cannot claim that Gottwald intimidated her into silence, then — as an apparent afterthought — seek to hold Sony and Kemosabe Records liable for failing to act on conduct that she did not report,” the dismissal motion reads.

The clock is certainly tik tok-ing.

[via Billboard]

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