The long, arduous court battle between pop star Kesha and her producer Dr. Luke rages on. The pair have been engaged in a legal battle since 2014, when Kesha accused the producer of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Last year, Kesha was denied her appeal to be freed from a contract with Dr. Luke and his Kemosabe Records imprint. Now, both parties have doubled down on their claims in court.
Earlier this month, a New York judge ordered the singer and her producer to a private conference, where they were expected to reach a settlement. Instead, they filed new countersuits against one another in New York Supreme Court, The Hollywood Reporter reports.
"You can get a divorce from an abusive spouse," Kesha's new countersuit reads. "You can dissolve a partnership if the relationship becomes irreconcilable. The same opportunity — to be liberated from the physical, emotional, and financial bondage of a destructive relationship — should be available to a recording artist.
"After a February 19, 2016 preliminary injunction hearing, Kesha Rose Sebert is, for the time being, no longer forced to record in the same room with Lukasz 'Dr. Luke' Gottwald, the abusive music producer who has had her under contract for the past eleven years. But allowing Kesha to make music outside Dr. Luke's presence does not free her from her abuser's control."
According to Kesha's new filing, she's even started recording a new album, but it's hit nothing but roadblocks, as "not one song has been approved, no release date has been set, and there has been no agreement on the critical issue of whether the album will be promoted commensurate with an artist of Kesha's stature and historical success."
In the documents, Kesha claims that Dr. Luke has cut off her finances after she spoke up in court. Further, she claims she has been deprived of royalties for her massive Pitbull team-up "Timber," which moved millions of copies.
"To be clear, Kesha does not seek the renegotiation of contractual terms," the suit continues. "She is not demanding more money. Kesha asks for something far more basic: the freedom to make music without being bound indefinitely to the very producer who subjected her to years of abuse and continues that abuse to this day. Dr. Luke seeks tens of millions of dollars in punitive damages from Kesha and her mother. If successful, Kesha and her mother would be penniless."
There's also an issue of time — as of March 2017, Dr. Luke's Kemosabe Records will no longer be under contract with Sony.
"The end of this contract means that Sony may no longer have any role in the creation of Kesha's music, leaving Kesha's livelihood in the hands of a person aiming to bankrupt her and her family through litigation, cutting off her legitimately earned income, and personally humiliating her as he has done for years," her countersuit states. "Without the Court's intervention and Sony's facilitation, Kesha will remain contractually bound to Dr. Luke until she releases three additional albums, each containing six songs produced individually by Dr. Luke, no matter how many years that takes."
Dr. Luke has also amended his complaint to allege that Kesha spread defamatory statements about him and encouraged the creation of "bogus Internet petitions." Specifically, he claimed that Kesha defamed him by accusing him of raping her and another unnamed artist in a text conversation with Lady Gaga.
"Dr. Luke seeks to add an additional defamation claim against Kesha based upon the discovery of another false and defamatory statement she made about him that was part of her calculated effort to harm his reputation and business," his lawyer Christine Lepera said in a statement. "Kesha's new proposed counterclaim simply repeats the meritless and untrue allegations that were set forth in her earlier pleadings and which Dr. Luke fully disputes."
This week, both Kesha and Dr. Luke will complete depositions under oath. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.