As we’ve written about before, singer/songwriter Kesha Rose Sebert (known by fans as simply Kesha) has been locked in a legal battle to be released from her contract with Sony producer Dr. Luke who she says raped, sexually harassed, and emotionally abused her throughout her career. Kesha’s contract requires her to record six more albums with Dr. Luke effectively putting her career on hold pending an injunction which was denied by the New York Supreme Court’s Shirley Kornreich this past Friday.
In addition to accusations of rape, Kesha also alleges that Dr. Luke emotionally abused her to the point where she developed an eating disorder and had to seek medical treatment. Specific accusations include Dr. Luke “comparing her body to a refrigerator” and often claiming she needed to lose weight. These kinds of accusations are not exclusive to Kesha, as other artists such as Charlie XCX have accused Dr. Luke of extreme body shaming in the past. Kesha was, in fact, hospitalized for treatment of Bulimia in January 2014. This could be considered supporting information to Kesha’s case considering that there is a strong correlation between trauma and eating disorders.
Many other clients have accused Dr. Luke of inappropriate sexual comments in the past as well.
This case can easily be thought of in terms of domestic violence, as the dynamic of an abusive intimate relationship and an abusive work relationship are often very similar. Citing our resources on the topic, such as Violence Against Women and Sexual Assault: Victimization Across the Life-Span, we can see that domestic abuse need not be between two intimate partners, but can easily be replicated in work, school, military, or other kinds of relationships.
While currently the ruling cites lack of evidence for refusal to release Kesha from her contract with Sony, thousands of fans and many celebrities have come forth in support of Kesha, many of whom have worked with Dr. Luke. Celebrities such as Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Adam Lambert, and Lady Gaga have spoken out and tweeted in support. Taylor Swift made headlines and brought more awareness to the case by donating $250,ooo to helping Kesha, who has not released an album in three years due to this issue, continue the trial.
Fans are showing support on Twitter using the hashtag #FreeKesha.