back to top

Judge Seals Kesha's Medical Records In Contract Dispute With Dr. Luke

"Given the extraordinary media attention" to her contract dispute with Dr. Luke, a judge has agreed to "Insulate her from unnecessary embarrassment" by sealing her medical records.

Posted on
Theo Wargo

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 22: Singer Kesha performs onstage during Global Citizen: The World On Stage at NYU Skirball Center on September 22, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

A New York judge has granted Kesha's request to seal her medical records as she continues her legal fight with music producer Dr. Luke.

Kesha had filed a motion on Monday asking for a protective order for more than 900 pages of gynecological, psychiatric, and rehabilitation records after she said Dr. Luke’s legal team refused to unilaterally agree to keep them confidential.

A hearing had been scheduled for Oct. 26, but instead Judge Shirley Korneich made the decision on Thursday to seal the records to protect the "Tik Tok" singer and "insulate her from unnecessary embarrassment."

"Given the extraordinary media attention to this action to date, which among other things has resulted in threats to the court and demonstrations, the court finds the foregoing protective order is warranted," Korneich wrote.

Advertisement

Kesha has been locked in a court battle with music producer Dr. Luke, born Lukasz Gottwald, as she tries to get out of an exclusive recording contract with this music label, alleging he sexually and verbally abused her for years. In August, Kesha dropped her civil sexual assault case against Dr. Luke in California to focus on his breach of contract lawsuit against her in New York and create new music.

Dr. Luke has denied the abuse allegations, claiming they are a ruse by Kesha to get out of her exclusive recording contract for more money.

His attorneys had also maintained that Kesha waived any privacy rights she had over her medical information by “publicly disclosing details of her alleged medical diagnoses and treatments and putting them at issue in this case, all in an effort to bolster her baseless claims against our clients,” court documents state.

Dr. Luke’s attorney, Christine Lepara, released a statement on Monday that they say clarifies their position:

"Because Kesha made public accusations and in the case that she was allegedly harmed by Dr. Luke, the court ordered her to producer her medical records. Now, Kesha wants to hide her records, while continuing to make self-serving, selective and misleading statements to hurt my clients publicly.

Our position is that the court — and not Kesha’s lawyers — should decide whether Kesha’s medical information remains confidential given her public disclosures. We in fact offered to keep the records confidential pending the court’s decision as to them. Kesha’s attorneys refused that offer, and instead filed their misleading motion for more press attacks on my clients."

Kesha’s attorneys, however, argued that Dr. Luke just wants to use the records for to embarrass the singer and is just another example of his "scorched earth litigation tactics," including forcing to hire a large legal team for the contract dispute.

“Gottwald, who is purported to be worth an excess of $100 million, has made clear his intent to make the litigation as expensive as possible for the single defendant, Ms. Sebert, who is currently unable to publish music without Gottwald’s involvement,” the court papers filed by Kesha, whose last name is Sebert, state. “Gottwald’s strategy in the litigation has been to subject Ms. Sebert to extreme embarrassment and harassment, going as far as to raise questions in depositions regarding whether Ms. Sebert is ‘sexually aggressive.’”

Kesha, who hasn’t released an album in nearly four years, has so far turned over 28 new songs to Dr. Luke’s record label in an effort to restart her career.

Read the judge's opinion here:


Claudia Rosenbaum is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Rosenbaum at claudia.rosenbaum@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.