A New York judge has rejected Kesha's motion to end her recording contract with Sony. The singer had appealed a decision made in February that stated she could not be released from her contract with producer Dr Luke, who she alleges emotionally, physically and sexually abused her. But Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Shirley Werner Kornreich refused to overturn the ruling.
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Kesha's latest attempt to get out of her Sony contract has failed
Attorneys for Kesha had argued that it was "slavery" to continue to force Kesha to work with companies controlled by Dr Luke – real name Lukasz Gottwald - and owned by Sony. But the judge held that Sony's offer for Kesha continue to record without the producer's involvement would keep her sufficiently isolated from the man she says abused her.
The judge also criticised the star for failing to demonstrate how her claims met the required legal standards for several crimes, including severe emotional abuse and hate crimes.
"There are no facts to support Gottwald's animus toward women," she wrote. "Gottwald is alleged to have made offensive remarks about Kesha's weight, appearance and talent, not about women in general."
Dr Luke has denied all the allegations against him
Similarly, she said that allegations Dr Luke told Kesha she was "worthless" and instructed her to stop eating, did not meet the legal standard for emotional abuse.
"Her claims of insults about her value as an artist, her looks and her weight are insufficient to constitute 'extreme outrageous conduct intolerable in civil society', which is how the law defines emotional abuse," she said.
The latest ruling is a serious loss for Kesha – and has also led to new questions about how the legal row began.
Kesha's lawyers have not yet responded to the ruling
It was widely reported that Kesha filed a case first against Dr Luke in 2014, after which he countersued. However, the latest ruling suggests it was in fact the other way around, with Kesha's abuse case coming after Dr Luke tried to sue her for breach of contract.
In her ruling, Judge Kornriech wrote: "In 2014, Gottwald commenced the instant breach of contract action in New York. Immediately thereafter, Kesha brought an action in California, alleging … claims for sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender violence."
Kesha has previously said she can't work with a "monster" and is accusing the producer of raping her a decade ago after giving her a pill that knocked her out. She has also said he bullied her to lose weight until she was so traumatised that she developed an eating disorder and spent two months in a rehabilitation clinic in 2014.
Among those who have voiced their support for Kesha are fellow stars Adele, Lady Gaga, Lena Dunham, Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande, while Taylor Swift donated $250,000 to help her case.