Wednesday, March 22, 2017 6:07am ET by Pressparty
Judge denies Kesha's request for amended lawsuit against Dr. Luke
A judge has denied Kesha's request for an amended lawsuit against Dr. Luke.
In late January, the 'Tik Tok' singer's legal team filed a petition arguing that she should be released from her contract with the producer - whom she accused of sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally abusing her for a number of years - due to unpaid royalties and an alleged unwillingness from Dr. Luke in releasing her third studio album.
She said in her proposed countersuit: "You can get a divorce from an abusive spouse. You can dissolve a partnership if the relationship becomes irreconcilable. The same opportunity - to be liberated from the physical, emotional, and financial bondage of a destructive relationship - should be available to a recording artist."
However, Dr. Luke claimed it was Kesha who owed him $1.3 million in unpaid royalties, and failed to provide notice and a 30-day cure period.
Yesterday (March 21) a New York Supreme Court Judge denied the 29-year-old pop megastar's request to amend her counterclaim lawsuit, according to documents obtained by Billboard magazine.
Judge Kornreich wrote in an opinion: "Here, Kesha made no showing that it would have been futile to send an appropriate notice or that she was prevented from doing so. Thus, Kesha may not assert a counterclaim for breach of the Prescription Agreement."
Kesha also sought declaratory relief when she claimed it would be impossible to perform under the deals due to her acrimonious relationship with Dr. Luke - real name Lukasz Gottwald.
However, the judge responded: "It is speculative, not justiciable, whether Sony's contract is ending and whether it will be able to assist after this month. Furthermore, KMI [Dr. Luke's company] may not choose to exercise its options for future albums after the third is released. Finally, with respect to the Prescription Agreement, signed in November 2008, Gottwald's allegedly abusive behaviour was foreseeable."
Kesha's final point called upon the California law that states all music contracts must end "within seven years" of their start date.
She said: "To protect young, newly discovered recording artists from this precise manner of exploitation in quasi-lifetime un-severable professional relationships, California labour law requires all music contracts to end within seven years of execution."
But Judge Kornreich pointed out the case was filed in a New York court, and therefore the laws in California don't necessarily need to be upheld.
He said: "The parties' choice of New York law should be enforced, unless the public policy of another jurisdiction has an overriding concern so strong that it trumps New York's strong public policy in maintaining and fostering its undisputed status as the preeminent commercial and financial nerve centre of the world.
"Turning to the case at bar, the parties to the Gottwald Agreements could have provided that they would terminate in seven years. The parties, represented by sophisticated counsel, chose not to put such an explicit provision into the agreements.
"Thus, their choice of law should be enforced. Moreover, the single 1944 case cited by Kesha that mentions California's public policy in enacting 2855 does not demonstrate an overriding public interest that is materially greater than New York's interest in enforcing the parties' choice of New York law."