Late last week, the New York Supreme Court decided that recording artist Kesha would not be allowed to break her contract with her producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald despite allegations of abuse.
In 2014, Kesha filed a lawsuit against Dr. Luke, stating that he had “sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally abused” her since she signed with his label, Kemosabe Records, when she was 18 years old. Her career is currently “at a standstill” because she refuses to work with Dr. Luke.
Regardless of whether or not Kesha is free to record with other labels, the court decision made it clear that a person’s mental and physical well-being comes second to business when New York Supreme Court Justice, Shirley Kornreich, stated, “You’re asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry.”
Kesha’s accusations against Dr. Luke have nothing to do with weaseling out of a contract; they deal with a woman trying to regain control of her own life. In fact, accusations that Kesha only wants out of her contract because she “changed her mind” echo the common sentiment that rape allegations occur only after a person regrets a decision made the night before.
The court also stated that “[Kesha’s] vague abuse allegations were devoid of factual detail, and that there was no evidence, whether from doctors or anyone else, to support them,” essentially denying the validity of any reports of abuse.
Rape has nothing to do with sex; it deals exclusively with violence, power, humiliation and, most importantly, the ability to control another person. After enduring these traumatic circumstances for years and going to court to fight against it, Kesha is being told that her abuser is still allowed to wield power over her and her career.
The fact the court sided so overwhelmingly with Dr. Luke exemplifies the still-existing stigmas against abuse, especially sexual assault.
The court’s decision to stand with Dr. Luke is heartbreaking for not only Kesha, but for all abuse survivors. All rape allegations should be taken seriously and no rape survivor should be forced to hold a relationship, business or personal, with their rapist.