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Kesha files appeal against Dr. Luke injunction denial

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Kesha has appealed the February denial of her request for a preliminary injunction which would have released the singer from her contract with Sony pending litigation between her and Lukasz Gottwald, better known as the record producer Dr. Luke. Kesha has accused him of “sexual and drug related” assault—allegations which Gottwald has denied.

In an appeal filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday, Kesha challenged the initial denial of her request which was handed down by Judge Shirley Kornreich and would prevent the singer from releasing music outside of Sony.

As Kesha’s attorney Mark Geragos wrote in the appeal, obtained by EW, “The Court erred in basing its decision on its finding that Kesha could record without interference from Gottwald.” Geragos argued in February that Kornreich’s citation of Sony’s promise that Kesha could record at the label, but without involvement from Gottwald, was “an elusive promise” because he doubted the company would promote music not created in conjunction with the producer.

Furthermore, Geragos reiterated that in her initial motion for injunction, “Kesha submitted affidavits by individuals with over 100 years of collective personal experience in the music industry, each of whom attested to the fact that a young pop star’s fame will fade quickly, and permanently, due to a loss of momentum.” A critical component of Kesha’s case has been that the viability and longevity of her career rely on her ability to release new material before the conclusion of a legal battle that will like be a long one.

“Dr. Luke has been tyrannical and abusive since our relationship began,” Kesha explained in an affidavit from 2015. She also accused Dr. Luke of drugging her and making threats to “tie me up in litigation until my career was over.””

Gottwald has denied the claims and filed concurrent lawsuits again Kesha’s mother, Pebe Sebert, and Kesha’s manager, Jack Rovner. “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 wrote on Twitter. Kornreich dismissed those lawsuits in February, prior to dismissing Kesha’s request for an injunction.

UPDATE: Dr. Luke’s attorney, Christine Lepera, provided the following statement to EW: “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.”

For more on the Kesha’s ongoing legal case, revisit EW’s explainer.

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