Kesha’s Fight for Freedom

Brigid Burns

Kesha Rose Sebert, otherwise known as Ke$ha, has recently won a small fraction of her sexual assault case against her producer Dr. Luke. According to the New York Times, there was a 2014 filing in California where a lawyer for Kesha made claims against Dr. Luke saying that he had “verbally, sexually, emotionally, and physically abused her.” This statement was made by Kesha in 2005 after she had claimed that she was drugged and raped after a party by Dr. Luke.

Although Kesha had gained public support from other pop stars such as Adele and Taylor Swift, who donated $250,000 to her cause, the monetary support was not legally helping her in court. A lot of the claims that Kesha has been making are being rejected by the court, according to The New York Times. For what reason? Is it because Kesha’s reputation is known to be that of a party girl? Although a lot of Kesha’s music talks a lot about drinking and drugs, she doesn’t deserve to be treated any less of a human being. What suddenly made Kesha seem more than a party girl? It was her sexual assault.

“On social media and in my Women and Music course, Kesha has been primarily held up as object of scrutiny.  She has been critiqued for her ‘party-girl pop’ lifestyle and glorifying alcoholism, hook-up culture, and the like in her songs and music videos. She has also been charged with cultural appropriation on several occasions.  When I learned about Kesha’s assault and lawsuit, I had to immediately change course in terms of curriculum. It was very humbling for me and many of my students in that Kesha became more humanized. Suddenly, she was more than ‘just’ a controversial pop star.  She was a real human being, a rape survivor who told her story to the world and sought justice against the accused,” says Dr. Hope Russell, a Women’s Studies professor at Niagara University.


Kesha Issue 1 Pt 2


Along with Kesha’s lawsuit against Dr. Luke, her mother Pebe Sebert is filing against him as well. Sebert claims that Dr. Luke has caused Kesha to have post-traumatic stress disorder. With that filing, Dr. Luke fired back in a lawsuit against Kesha, her mother, and her management, claiming “defamation and breach of contract,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Luke claims that Kesha and her mother were filing the suit in order to cheat money out of him and to get out of her recording and publishing contract.


In a whirlwind of events, Kesha won the legal battle against Dr. Luke. According to Business Insider, a judge from New York ruled to dismiss Dr. Luke had a lawsuit against Kesha, her mother, and her manager. Dr. Luke believed that Kesha’s manager, Jack Rovner, was trying to seek money out of the case and gain control over Kesha’s career. Dr. Luke filed a lawsuit against Rovner because of these reasons. The judge ruled that this was not exactly a wrongful act or disregarding anyone’s rights and that Rovner was just acting as a manager. With Dr. Luke claiming that Pebe Sebert was trying to get money out of the case, the judge ruled that there was no crime involved with this.

When one is sexually assaulted, they should be able to leave if they are uncomfortable, or be able to tell someone without feeling like they will be in any sort of danger. No one should feel that they are being forced to stay with someone just because they have a history together. If anyone is being harmed or harassed, freedom from the position that they were placed in should be the first option for them. Many rape or assault victims are put on a stand and are questioned about what they were wearing or how they were acting and that is not something that should be happening in cases like this. If someone comes to you in a time of need, be there for them and help them through whatever they are facing.

Although Dr. Luke made claims against Kesha saying that he did not harm her, she still should have had that right to leave the company and producer that she was working with at the time. No one should feel that they are alone in these types of situations, and with culture in society today, it is very possible for people to feel that way. Most importantly, victims of said assaults should never feel that they are alone.



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