US court dismisses Kesha's lawsuit against her producer
A JUDGE on Wednesday refused a plea by United States singer Kesha to free her from a contract with an allegedly abusive producer, in a case that has galvanised feminists.
She had asked a court to suspend her exclusive contract with Dr Luke's Kemosabe Records, part of the Sony Music conglomerate, saying that the producer raped her and tormented her emotionally.
But a New York judge dismissed her lawsuit on largely technical grounds, ruling in one count that Kesha could not seize on the city's laws against hate crimes.
Kesha failed to prove that Dr Luke "harboured animus towards women or was motivated by gender animus when he allegedly behaved violently towards Kesha", Judge Shirley Kornreich wrote.
Kesha said Dr Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, drugged and raped her in 2005 and 2008.
The 29-year-old, whose full name is Kesha Rose Sebert, did not press charges at the time and said in the lawsuit that Dr Luke threatened to destroy her career if she went public.
But the judge said the court did not have jurisdiction, with Kesha living in California and entering the contract with the New York-based label after the alleged violence occurred.
She added that the statute of limitations had likely passed in any case on rape charges.
The decision deals a major blow to Kesha, though she had also filed a suit in California.
Kesha has enjoyed an outpouring of support after the New York court in February refused to issue an initial injunction on the contract.
Adele and Taylor Swift have publicly backed Kesha and feminist protesters rallied outside Sony Music's New York headquarters.
Dr Luke has denied the allegations and filed a counter-suit accusing Kesha of making false claims to get out of the contract.
Kesha's 2009 debut album, Animal, went to No. 1 on the US chart and generated the major hit Tik Tok, co-written with Dr Luke.