Kesha Rose Sebert filed paperwork on Monday that’s intended to have a New York appellate court weigh in on her dispute with producer Dr. Luke (Lukasz Gottwald).
Last month, in the midst of a legal battle where Sebert alleges being the victim of sexual abuse, New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich denied a preliminary injunction that would have allowed Sebert to record outside of Dr. Luke’s purview. “You’re asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry,” said the judge at the court hearing.
Mark Geragos, Sebert’s attorney, wants another opinion.
“Plaintiff seeks reversal of the Order on the following grounds,” states her latest court papers. “First, the Court erred in basing its decision on its finding that Kesha could record without interference from Gottwald. Although it recognized that ‘slavery was done away with a long time ago’ and that ‘[y]ou can’t force someone to work . . . in a situation in which they don’t want to work,’ the Court’s ruling requiring Kesha to work for Gottwald’s companies, purportedly without his involvement, does just that.”
Dr. Luke has presented Sebert’s claims as financially-motivated and have been pursuing their own against her for breaching contract. When Sebert first pushed for an injunction, a Dr. Luke spokesperson responded, “If Kesha now regrets her career being mired in legal proceedings, it’s entirely her making.”
At the hearing last month, the judge seemed impressed by an offer made by Sony Music to allow Sebert to record without Dr. Luke’s involvement. Geragos considered this to be an “illusory promise.” He doesn’t understand why the balance of equities favors the other side.
“The Court did not explain, nor could it, why any potential harm to SME could not adequately be compensated by money damages if it were to prevail in the litigation,” he writes in his pre-argument statement. “Indeed, SME, Gottwald, and all the related entities are each free to make music (and money) with other young talent. In the event they prevail in the litigation, they can recover money damages from Kesha for her breach of contract.”
Adds Dr. Luke’s attorney, Christine Lepera: “The Court repeatedly stated Kesha was already free to record without Dr. Luke, and that she had not presented any facts supporting her claims. That’s because all the evidence — including Kesha’s own sworn testimony — show her allegations are false. Her attorneys can continue manufacturing even more false and outrageous claims, but the fact remains that her time would be better spent in a studio than wasting time having her lawyer and mother spin lies in the media.”
This article was first published by The Hollywood Reporter.