UPDATE: An attorney for Dr. Luke responded to a report that Sony Music would drop the producer and said in a statement to EW, “This is not true. Luke has an excellent relationship with Sony. His representatives are in regular contact with executives at the highest levels at Sony and this has never come up.”
EARLIER: Sony Music has plans to drop producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald from its roster, TheWrap reported Wednesday, citing music industry insiders. His contract is currently set to expire next year.
A rep for Sony declined to comment and Dr. Luke’s legal team did not respond to EW’s immediate request for comment.
The news comes a month after pop star Kesha was denied a preliminary injunction against the super producer, whom she has accused of “sexual and drug-related assault.” Dr. Luke has denied the claims in court and on social media. “I didn’t rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her. Kesha and I were friends for many years and she was like my little sister,” he tweeted.
Kesha is currently signed to Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records, which is an imprint of Sony. She had originally filed claims of abuse against him in 2014. Since being denied a preliminary injunction, which would have let her record outside of the producer’s purview, dozens of celebrities have come out in support of Kesha. Stars like Kelly Clarkson (who also worked with Dr. Luke), Lady, Gaga, Ariana Grande, and Lorde have spoken out using the #FreeKesha hashtag. Fans have also protested Sony headquarters, asking the label to let Kesha out of her contract.
According to a statement from Dr. Luke’s lawyer Christine Lepera given on Feb. 22, Sony Music had spent “over $11 million promoting Kesha, and Sony Music and its label Kemosabe are committed to continuing to promote her work.” She also said the New York Supreme Court “found that Kesha is already ‘free’ to record and release music without working with Dr. Luke as a producer if she doesn’t want to.”
And on Feb. 26, Sony Music issued a statement about Dr. Luke and Kesha’s contract: “Sony has made it possible for Kesha to record without any connection, involvement, or interaction with Luke whatsoever, but Sony is not in a position to terminate the contractual relationship between Luke and Kesha,” Sony’s attorney Scott Edelman told the New York Times.