Sony Is Reportedly Dropping Dr. Luke Over #FreeKesha Backlash [UPDATED]
Dr. Luke Gottwald and singer Ke$ha onstage at the 28th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on April 27, 2011. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Sony Music is reportedly cutting ties with producer Dr. Luke amid the backlash from Kesha's allegations that he sexually abused her.
Unnamed "knowledgeable" sources told TheWrap that the nasty court battle between Kesha and her producer and alleged abuser Dr. Luke (real name: Lukasz Gottwald) have become such a PR disaster for the company that they are looking to end their deal early. In February, a judge ruled against Kesha, denying her request to release her from her contract with Gottwald's Kemosabe Records, which is a subsidiary of Sony Music. The public outcry became the #FreeKesha movement, with famous supporters including Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and Adele.
"Kesha has no case in regards to her contract but they can't afford the Adeles of the world out in the streets calling the label unsupportive," a source told TheWrap. "The fact that this hasn't already been taken care of with Luke is confusing, especially for people in the building."
Gottwald's deal with Sony ends in 2017, and a termination of the contract would likely have to be mutually negotiated between both sides. "No court has convicted this person, so there may not be any legal basis to terminate an agreement," another source told TheWrap.
Kesha's lawsuit against Gottwald was filed in 2014, and the singer alleges that Gottwald had abused her over the previous 10 years (since the singer was signed by him at the age of 18). The two of them had a string of hits from 2009 to 2013, and are probably best known for Kesha's "Tik Tok."
Update 3:30 p.m.: Not so fast, Dr. Luke's attorney says in a statement: "This is not true. Luke has an excellent relationship with Sony. His representatives are in regular contact with executives at the highest levels at Sony and this has never come up."