Kesha Appeals Judge's Dismissal of Her Request to Record Music Without Dr. Luke: Her Lawyer Calls Their Contract 'Slavery'
Last month, a New York judge dismissed the star's request for a preliminary injunction
Per legal documents obtained by PEOPLE, Kesha has filed an appeal to the New York Supreme Court regarding Justice Shirley Kornreich’s ruling in February, when she dismissed the singer’s request for a preliminary injunction that would allow her to record music outside of Dr. Luke’s purview.
Kesha, 29, is suing her longtime producer Dr. Luke, 42, whom she alleges drugged and raped her and has verbally and emotionally abused her for a decade. The hitmaker (born Lukasz Gottwald) is countersuing for breach of contract and defamation and vehemently denies the accusations. (I didn’t rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her,” he Tweeted in January.)
“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 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,” Kesha’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, argues in the statement, filed on Saturday.
“As the Court itself recognized, ‘[i]t’s slavery. You can’t do that,'” Geragos added.
Luke’s attorney, Christine Lepera, responded to the appeal, saying in a statement: “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.”
The judge dismissed Kesha’s request after citing signed affidavits from Luke and others saying she would not have to come in direct contact with the producer.
“The New York County Supreme Court on Friday 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. Any claim that she isn’t ‘free’ is a myth,” Luke’s lawyher said after the judge’s decision.
A source close to the situation told PEOPLE at the time: “There are issues beyond just whether she has to see him … They would still be contractually tied [through the label], so it s not exactly an untethering of the two.”
Indeed, because Kesha is signed to Luke’s Kemosabe Records label, she is contractually obligated to deliver several more albums to him that need to be released through Sony Music Entertainment, which owns Kemosabe. (Reps for Sony did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment about the appeal.)
Nearly a week after her preliminary injunction request was dismissed, Kesha wrote on Facebook: “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.”
Last week, the New York Law Review published a story about Kornreich’s ruling, quoting several legal professionals who agreed with the judge based on the evidence submitted.
“There might be an extraordinary set of facts that could support the extraordinary remedy of a preliminary injunction invalidating a contract. But Kornreich found, properly I think, that the evidence presented was woefully insufficient,” Richard Roth, a New York-based attorney who has represented musicians and labels, told the publication.