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Musicians Severely Mistreated By Their Record Labels

Kesha Rose Sebert has been trying to free herself from her contract with producer Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald from Sony Records since 2014, claiming he has abused her financially, emotionally, and even sexually for over 10 years, causing her to almost lost her life due to an eating disorder and drug abuse. Kesha’s fans organized a petition — called “Free Kesha” — a year before the lawsuit, on the basis that Gottwald was pushing her too hard, leading to her admittance to a rehab center for an eating disorder. Her mother also revealed that he allegedly pressured her into losing weight. There was even a GoFundMe campaign, gathering financial means to pay Sony Kesha’s dues and let her be, reports Maura Johnston for Rolling Stone.

A Los Angeles Superior Court froze the lawsuit, though, claiming it should be taken to New York court. But Gottwald denied the accusations, claiming she made it all up, and he filed another suit against Kesha and her management team from Vector Management, stating she refused to record new music and failed to fill her part of the contract. A New York Supreme Court Justice ruled in his favor, denying injunction, as his actions didn’t justify the legal threshold of what it means to intentionally inflict emotional distress.

Sony states the company is not in a position to intervene due to legal requirements. Kesha lost the case and her career while Gottwald walked out unharmed. Kesha’s contract is still valid today, preventing her from working with anyone else. The suit filed against her for defamation is still in process as of April 2022, and it’s taken a number of complex turns over the years (via Billboard).

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN’s National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA’s Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

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