Kesha responds to flood of support after losing bid to make music without Sony
By Chris Cooke | Published on Thursday 25 February 2016
Kesha has posted a long statement on Facebook following the outpouring of support that has been unleashed this week after a New York court last Friday refused to grant an injunction allowing the singer to work with a different record company to the one she is contracted to, Dr Luke’s Sony imprint Kemosabe.
As previously reported, Kesha Sebert accuses Lukasz Gottwald of plying her with drugs and alcohol and raping her as a teenager. Gottwald claims that the allegations and resulting lawsuit are an attempt to get out of her contracts with his companies.
The legal dispute is ongoing, but Sebert’s lawyer Mark Gregaros requested an injunction to allow his client to work with another label as the lawsuits continue go through the motions, because the litigation has basically put Sebert’s entire career on hold. A judge refused that request on Friday, saying doing so would set a dangerous precedent in the music industry with regard to contracts signed under New York State law.
The decision catapulted a long-running story into the wider public consciousness, and a string of other artists have now joined fans in backing Sebert in her bid to work for a label other than Kemosabe and Sony. Last night, at the BRITs, Adele – whose records are distributed by Sony in the US – became the latest big name star to speak up in support of her fellow singer.
Writing on Facebook yesterday, Sebert said: “I’m so, so beyond humbled and thankful for all of the support I’ve received from everyone. Words cannot really express the emotions I’ve gone through reading and seeing how amazing everyone has been to me. I can’t believe that so many people all over the world took the time to show me support and love. Other entertainers who knowingly put their own careers at stake by supporting me, I will be forever grateful”.
Commenting on the specifics of the case, she went on: “All I ever wanted was to be able to make music without being afraid, scared, or abused. This case has never been about a renegotiation of my record contract – it was never about getting a bigger, or a better deal. This is about being free from my abuser. I would be willing to work with Sony if they do the right thing and break all ties that bind me to my abuser”.
But, she added, “at this point, this issue is bigger than just about me. I think about young girls today – I don’t want my future daughter – or your daughter – or any person to be afraid that they will be punished if they speak out about being abused, especially if their abuser is in a position of power. Unfortunately I don’t think that my case is giving people who have been abused confidence that they can speak out, and that’s a problem”.
Concluding, she wrote: “I just want to say that if you have been abused, please don’t be afraid to speak out. There are places that will make you feel safe. There are people who will help you. I for one, will stand beside you and behind you. I know now how this all feels and will forever fight for you the way perfect strangers have been fighting for me”.
Gottwald, of course, continues to deny all the allegations made against him, while his lawyers point to a deposition made by the singer in another case in 2011 in which she said she had never had sexual relations with the producer. His lawyers also argue that their client and Sony Music have offered to allow Sebert to record with another producer and label within the Sony group, while accusing Gregaros of engineering a publicity storm around the case in a bid to force Gottwald’s hand on the basis of PR rather than the law.
For his part, Gregaros counters that Sony’s offer for Sebert to work with another producer is “illusory”, claiming that the major would not properly promote any record made that way. Sony Music’s deals with Gottwald’s companies also mean it would be hard to stop him profiting from any release of new material by Sebert. The same deals also mean it is actually hard for Sony to unilaterally cut the singer free from her Kemosabe contract without Gottwald’s agreement.
Using Twitter as his platform, Gottwald wrote earlier this week: “I understand why people without all the information are speaking out. I can appreciate their compassion. But lives can get ruined when there’s a rush to judgment before all the facts come out. Of course any sane person is against rape and sexual assault, but everybody who is commenting is doing so without knowledge or facts. They are getting behind an allegation only – motivated by money. I didn’t rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her”.