Contrary to the popular belief that rape allegations end men's careers, women who are merely seeking legal ownership of their own work—all while suffering from trauma and being forced to face their abusers over and over again—often face the most intense consequences of all.
Since 2014, Kesha—embroiled in a nightmare she can't wake up from—has served as proof of this. Six years ago, the "TiK ToK" singer sued her former producer, Lucasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, in an attempt to get out of their recording contract because he "sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally abused [Kesha] to the point where [she] nearly lost her life," according to her initial accusations.
Dr. Luke counter-sued, accusing Kesha of fabricating a story in order to get out of their contract. Kesha has spent the past half-decade fighting in court, all to have the rights to her own music. In 2016, Kesha lost the bid to void her contract, sparking the #FreeKesha movement. Though she gained widespread support from fans and artists alike, she's still facing consequences from her initial accusations.
Today, a week after releasing her second album following her separation from Dr. Luke, a judge ruled that she owes him $373,671.88 in interest for late royalties.
The judge also ruled that a text message Kesha sent to Lady Gaga in 2016 was "defamatory." In the text message, Kesha stated that Katy Perry had been raped by "the same man," referring to Dr. Luke. Perry later denied that statement in court. "There is no evidence whatsoever that Gottwald raped Katy Perry or that Katy Perry, whose sworn testimony is unrefuted, must not be believed," said the judge's official statement. Because the court ruled that Dr. Luke was not a public figure at the time that the message was sent, his team only needs to prove that Kesha displayed negligence—not a reckless disregard for truth—in her claims.
Kesha's team plans to resist the rulings, according to USA Today. "Judge Schecter issued rulings today on motions for summary judgment in the Dr. Luke litigation. We disagree with the Court's rulings. We plan to immediately appeal," her team's statement read.
This proceeding is especially unfortunate given that Kesha's latest album, High Road, was an attempt to separate her identity from the Dr. Luke story. The album was "about reclaiming my happiness and my voice and all aspects of my life, and not living in the tragedy of what everyone knows I've been through," she stated. It seems that she's not done living the tragedy just yet.