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Kesha leaving court (Photo by Josiah Kamau for Getty Images)
#FREEKESHA (UPDATE)

People continue to raise their voices pro and con in the public debate spurred by Kesha’s efforts to break her recording contract with Sony, based on her claim that she was raped and emotionally abused by producer/hitmaker Dr. Luke. Naturally, she no longer wants to work with her alleged rapist, who had signed her to his RCA imprint, Kemosabe, years ago.

Dr. Luke vehemently denied Kesha's claims on his Twitter page, which he's using as a platform to defend himself, despite a recent tweet stating, “This is an ongoing legal case so I won't be responding / talking much about this. This should be tried in a court of law.”

A story in Tuesday’s New York Times usefully organizes the narrative.  

“Kesha Rose Sebert wants nothing more than to be able to record an album,” her lawyers wrote in a motion for preliminary injunction that would block Sony and Dr. Luke from pursuing damages if she released music outside of her contract. “Her only condition is that she be allowed to record with a record label that is not affiliated with someone who has emotionally and sexually abused her.”

Mark Geragos, an attorney representing Kesha, argued that her career is “at a standstill” because of Kesha’s refusal to record with Dr. Luke. Her contract with Kemosabe and Dr. Luke’s publishing company, Prescription Songs, requires that he produce at least six songs on each of her albums.

In an affidavit supporting the motion, former UMGD head Jim Urie said that without an injunction, Kesha would miss her window of commercial success and suffer irreparable harm: “If Kesha cannot immediately resume recording and having her music promoted, marketed, and distributed by a major label, her career is effectively over.”

And Ms. Foundation for Women President/CEO Teresa C. Younger issued the following statement:

“Contracts are established to protect people by ensuring their fair and equal treatment. They are created to level the playing field, so that the dynamics of power are not skewed in one party’s favor without regular form. Denying Kesha’s request sends the message that a corporation’s commercial interests take precedence over the physical well-being and psychological safety of women.

“This type of abuse — stemming from a legal system that should protect them — happens frequently as a result of the lack of safeguards for women who have suffered abuse. Systems of sexism and misogyny in the workplace exist across industries and women should not be held hostage for economic gain. We commend Kesha’s bravery and the courage of all those who have spoken out to, not only support her, but to demand change to our country’s rampant problem of abuse whether it is physical, emotional or mental.”

Taylor Swift has donated $250k to Kesha after a New York judge denied the latter a court injunction that would have allowed her to get out of her deal. Kesha’s mother, Pebe Sebert, responded to the donation on Twitter: “A person’s wealth is not measured by what they have but by WHO they they help with it. And Taylor Swift is a truly RICH PERSON. Most important for Kesha, is that these beautiful, powerful women are standing behind her, letting the world see how powerful the truth is!”

Dr. Luke denies the allegations made against him, and his lawyer, Christina Lepara, claims Kesha is "already 'free' to record and release music without working with Dr. Luke as a producer if she doesn't want to." She also referred to her claims as "outright lies" and "devoid of factual detail." Read the full statement here.

Kesha’s last album was 2012’s Warrior, her second release; a year later, she appeared on the Dr. Luke-produced Pitbull single “Timber.”

This news has ruffled many a feather, and an array of A-listers has taken to social media to offer support, many sparking the usage of hashtag #FreeKesha:

 

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