Kesha Drops California Suit Against Dr. Luke, Proceeds in New York
Hoping to get her career back on track, Kesha has provided 28 new songs to her record label and has scaled back her legal actions against her label head, the pop super-producer Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald.
Though the pop star will continue to pursue appeals in New York, where a judge dismissed her sexual abuse claims against Gottwald in April, she has dropped a similar set of claims in California, where her case has been on hold since June of last year.
"Kesha has dismissed her California action without prejudice while she pursues her appeal and other legal claims in the New York courts," the pop star's counsel, Daniel Petrocelli, said in an official statement. "Kesha is focused on getting back to work and has delivered 28 new songs to the record label. We have conveyed to Sony and the label Kesha's strong desire to release her next album and single as soon as possible."
Christine Lepera, an attorney for Dr. Luke, wrote in a statement to Rolling Stone, "If Kesha is voluntarily dismissing her claims in the California case, it is because she has no chance of winning them. Earlier this year, she lost her meritless counterclaims against Dr. Luke in the New York Action. Recently, the California Court invited Dr. Luke and the other defendants to move to dismiss Kesha's claims in that action. Kesha never should have brought her false and meritless claims against Dr. Luke in any court. Dr. Luke's defamation and other claims against Kesha are still proceeding."
According to a source close to the case, Kesha has been recording the new tracks at her own expense for the past several months, and has provided them to Dr. Luke's label, Kemosabe, hoping that the imprint and its parent company will release a single and an album as soon as possible.
Kesha's career has essentially been on hold since 2014, when she first filed claims of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse against Gottwald in California, further alleging that he exerted "suffocating control" over her career.
Gottwald countersued for defamation in New York, and Judge Barbara M. Scheper of the Los Angeles Superior Court put Kesha's case on hold, saying that contractual provisions made New York the proper venue.
Kesha countersued in New York against Gottwald, alleging sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender violence.
Kesha did not fare well in the New York court, however. In February Judge Shirley Kornreich refused to grant a preliminary injunction that would have allowed Kesha to suspend her contract and work with other producers and labels while her case was pending.
Kesha’s case suffered an even greater setback in April, when Judge Kornreich threw out her the bulk of her claims.
The judge dismissed Kesha's claims of gender-based hate crime, gender discrimination, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and also refused to void the star's contract.
With an appeal pending in New York, Kesha's lawyers focused their attention once more on the California court, asking Judge Scheper to reconsider her decision in May.
But Kesha's chances in California did not seem promising, as the judge expressed skepticism that she would lift the stay.
With no legal relief likely in the near future, Kesha faced the prospect of long-term career hiatus, even as her well-publicized case garnered widespread support from fans and other female artists.
According to the source, Kesha hopes that Sony and Kemosabe would recognize that it would be in the best interest of all parties to restart her career as soon as possible.
Kesha has not released new music on Kemosabe since her 2012 album Warrior, though she appeared on the 2013 Pitbull hit "Timber," produced by Dr. Luke. Touring this summer as Kesha and the Creepies, she has been performing new material, though it's unclear if any of those songs are among the new recordings.