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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Justice fails Kesha

Photo credit: Grant Garnsey
Photo credit: Grant Garnsey

A well-known female singer and songwriter has recently flooded social media and caught the attention of people and celebrities across the world. You probably recognize the blond, glitter loving, party girl from her hit single, “Tik Tok.” That’s right, we’re talking about Kesha.

Kesha has made headlines for weeks following the publicity of her ongoing trial. Kesha and her music producer, “Dr. Luke,” have a long history of shocking allegations and unsettled lawsuits dating back a decade that have remained under wraps until now.

I think that news of this trial really hit home for many Hollywood women. Like Kesha, other female celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Teri Hatcher and Fantasia have bravely come forward before as rape victims.

When I heard news of Kesha’s trial, I was first shocked that it was kept so low-key for so long. Then I came to understand that it takes a lot of courage for people, especially those with their lives constantly in the limelight, to share such a personal and horrific memory. However, I admire their strength and drive to pursue justice and hopefully save others from suffering from the same experience. Secondly, I am extremely disappointed in her producer and recording label who are supposed to build her up for success but instead took advantage of a young and upcoming star.

So first let’s explore a quick summary on how the Kesha trial all started:

According to Forbes, in 2004 Dr. Luke heard Kesha’s demos for the first time and swayed her to leave school and move to Los Angeles. The following year, at 18 years old, the songwriter and performer signed a six-album record deal with Dr. Luke’s production company.

Lawsuits began in 2009 after her hit single and album rose to the top of charts worldwide. Kesha’s previous management deal with DAS sued both her and her producer. Two years later she gave a deposition for the DAS case. In 2012 the case was settled and she paid half of what they asked for.

After another album in 2012, reports of Kesha and Dr. Luke’s rocky relationship surfaced. They disagreed on the style of music she should be pursuing and the overall image she should portray.

On her reality television series, Kesha publicly stated that her producer rejected close to 70 songs she wrote. Soon after that she told Rolling Stone magazine she does not really have control over her music.

Trouble continued for Kesha in 2014 when she entered a rehab facility for an eating disorder. (Later in her lawsuit, she claims her producer repeatedly called her fat which led to her depression.) In rehab she reportedly told doctors that Dr. Luke had drugged, physically abused and sexually assaulted her.

After leaving rehab, Kesha filed a lawsuit against Dr. Luke. Allegations included sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender violence, civil harassment, unfair business and emotional distress. In response, Dr. Luke filed his own lawsuit against Kesha for defamation.

Because of the ongoing legal issues, Kesha has been unable to record any new music. In 2015 she requested to immediately end or change her contract to save her career. In February of 2016 her request was denied.

So that’s the gist of Kesha’s legal battles.

Since the recent news of the allegations and ongoing trial became public, I, like many others, have been keeping up with the trial and reading the latest updates on social media. It was heartbreaking to see pictures of Kesha sobbing in the courtroom as the judge denied her request.

I think that it’s wrong of the production company, Sony, to force her to stay. Even after all the allegations of rape and abuse, Kesha only wanted to be freed from her producer and label. She didn’t ask for him to go to jail.

Now Kesha will be forced to continue working in an unhealthy relationship and forced contract. News of the decision has created an uproar on both social media and with fans. Many celebrities including Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato and Adele have voiced their support for Kesha. Fans have created #FreeKesha on Twitter and have also threatened to boycott Sony.

The unfair outcome of Kesha’s trial resonates with a lot of people around the world. So many people choose to stay quiet or not press charges about assault because not only is it embarrassing or hard to relive, but just like the Kesha case, it is almost impossible to prove. Needless to say I am disappointed that the justice system has failed Kesha like so many others.

Julie Ramos can be reached at [email protected] or @julie_ramoss on Twitter.

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    Lolita Vinnikova // Mar 2, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Kesha is deserves to be free to do her music in the liberty

    free kesha now

    from lolita vinnikova