Court rejects appeal and throws out Kesha’s Dr Luke ‘hate crime’ rape claims

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Amy Swales

A New York judge has dismissed Kesha's bid to get out of her contract with Sony Music.

The singer’s legal team lodged an appeal after her request for a preliminary injunction to release her from her contract with Sony's Kemosabe Records was turned down in February.

Kemosabe Records is run by Dr Luke (real name Lukasz Gottwald), the music producer she alleges raped and sexually and emotionally abused her over a 10-year period.

But Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Shirley Werner Kornreich said many of Kesha’s claims did not meet the required legal standards; while her legal team said Gottwald’s alleged behaviour constituted a hate crime, the judge disagreed, ruling, “There are no facts to support Gottwald’s animus toward women.

“Gottwald is alleged to have made offensive remarks about Kesha’s weight, appearance, and talent, not about women in general […] Every rape is not a gender-motivated hate crime.”

The judge also said the singer’s human rights were not being violated by keeping the contract in place as Sony had said she could record with Kemosabe without Gottwald’s involvement, a situation her legal team had previously likened to “slavery”.

Furthermore, the ruling said many of the incidents Kesha, 29, described had allegedly taken place too long ago to be considered, and that her team had “failed to plead that any of the alleged discrimination occurred in New York State or City” – meaning the court had no jurisdiction.

With regards to the emotional abuse Kesha has alleged against Gottwald, which she says resulted in bulimia, depression, stress and panic attacks, the ruling stated that “insults about her value as an artist, her looks and her weight are insufficient to constitute extreme, outrageous conduct intolerable in a civilised society.”

Kesha filed a lawsuit against Gottwald in 2014 alleging, among other things, sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence and emotional distress.

Earlier this week, she posted a message on Instagram claiming she’d been offered “freedom” from her contract in return for publicly retracting her claims. The sexual assault case will be heard in 2017, while related lawsuits in California and Tennessee are ongoing.

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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.

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