Colton Givens, KLJ Legal News Editor
Despite her promise in the 2013 hit single “Timber” that she’ll “be the one you won’t forget,” a popular performer is concerned that a pending lawsuit is stifling her music and hurting her popularity.
Singer Kesha Rose Sebert, known to her fans as Kesha, is embroiled in an ongoing legal dispute with her former producer, Lukasz Gottwald (“Dr. Luke”). The controversy stems from a lawsuit filed by Sebert last year in California state court, accusing Gottwald of various instances of sexual abuse, forcible drug ingestion, and interference with contract negotiations. In turn, Gottwald filed a defamation suit against Sebert, alleging that her statements in the lawsuit and in public were untrue.
Unfortunately, Sebert’s musical career has been caught in the middle of these two suits. During their pendency, Gottwald has refused to release Sebert from her recording contract, preventing her from releasing any new music. Without new music, Sebert says, she cannot tour and perform for her fans.
Sebert’s attorney, Mark Geragos, filed for a preliminary injunction last Friday in New York state court, seeking permission for the artist to negotiate and record with other producers. Generally speaking, applicants for a preliminary injunction must typically demonstrate four elements: (1) that she is likely to succeed on the merits, (2) that she is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction, (3) that the balance of equities tips in her favor, and (4) that an injunction is in the public interest.
In support of the injunction, many Hollywood music producers have lined up behind Sebert, saying in their affidavits that Sebert’s career is in jeopardy unless she is released from her contract with Gottwald. Her fans would certainly say that an injunction allowing Sebert to record new music is in the public interest, as demonstrated by the Twitter hashtag “#FreedomForKesha” that trended for several hours on Tuesday.
Arguments on the motion are scheduled for October 7. Until the trial judge issues her ruling, however, Sebert’s fans will be waiting with baited breath, in anticipation of new chart-topping hits.