Sony Music has reportedly dropped Dr. Luke, and here's what that means for Kesha
Amidst ongoing legal trouble with the singer Kesha, it’s been reported that Sony Music is allegedly parting ways with Dr. Luke.
According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, the recording company has declared that the producer, who has worked with artists like Miley Cyrus, Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, and, of course, Kesha, would no longer be able to act on the company’s behalf.
Dr. Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald, started Kemosabe Records in 2011 along with Sony Music, yet was hit with controversy following allegations made against Gottwald by one of his signees, Kesha Rose, in 2014, who alleged that the producer had sexually assaulted her.
Along with allegations of assault, Kesha also claimed that Gottwald had exhibited “suffocating control” over her life for 10 years. In response to the allegations, however, Gottwald filed his own defamation suit in which he denied the allegations and stated that the singer was attempting to extradite herself from her recording contract with Sony and Kemosabe.
The resulting three years have seen Kesha repeatedly lose appeals to be set free from her recording contract, with the movement #FreeKesha beginning on social media. While a New York judge dismissed the singer’s request to be freed from her contract, it was stated that she didn’t have to work with her alleged abuser, something that Gottwald also agreed to. The same judge also rejected Kesha’s claims that Gottwald had voided their contract by withholding royalties.
It’s safe to say that things got pretty ugly between the pair.
Now, according to reports, it seems that Sony Music is in the process of parting ways with Dr. Luke.
As THR report, new court documents detail that the recording company has stated that Gottwald is not longer the CEO of Kemosabe Records, with the publication noting that all reference to Dr. Luke has been removed from the Sony Music website.
Indeed, one Twitter user noted that Kesha no longer appears under the moniker Ke$ha on Sony’s website, with the user claiming that Gottwald owns the rights to that iteration of the singer’s name.
However, a source told Variety that while Gottwald and Sony were “winding down” their partnership together, the producer was still acting under the exclusivity side of his contract that was made when Kemosabe was started in 2011. This means that the producer, along with his Prescription Songs songwriting and production team, are still working on music for the label.
What’s more, while on the surface these new developments might seem like a win in Kesha’s legal battle for emancipation, it’s not necessarily the case.
As a blog on Slate points out, in her own legal documents Kesha detailed how Gottwald’s split from Sony would mean that she no longer has the recording giant as an intermediary between herself and her alleged abuser. Furthermore, Gottwald’s lawyers have been building a huge defamation case against the singer, too, with the producer’s legal representatives noting that his career and reputation has been irreparably damaged as a result of Kesha’s allegations (despite these claims, however, Variety reports that it’s believed that Gottwald and Prescription Songs have constantly been in work throughout the last few years).
While neither Sony Music, Dr. Luke, or Kesha have publicly responded to these new developments, the singer did share this message on Instagram.
It remains to be seen how these new developments will truly impact the ongoing legal battle between Gottwald and Kesha.