Kesha dropped a lawsuit against Dr. Luke, but that doesn't mean her battle is over

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Last night, Kesha's team announced that they are limiting the pop star’s legal battle to a single coast by dropping her California case against Dr. Luke.

"Kesha has dismissed her California action without prejudice while she pursues her appeal and other legal claims in the New York courts," Daniel Petrocelli, a member of Kesha's legal team explained in a statement to US Weekly. "Kesha is focused on getting back to work and has delivered 28 new songs to the record label. We have conveyed to Sony Music and the label Kesha’s strong desire to release the single and an album as soon as possible."


The legal battle between pop star Kesha and her producer Lukasz Gottwald (Dr. Luke) seems endless. In October 2014, Kesha filed a civil suit in California against her producer claiming that he pressured her to drop out of high school, encouraged her to do drugs and—the most incendiary allegation—that he sexually assaulted her and attempted to exert "suffocating control" over her life for a decade. The California lawsuit can be read in full here.

“If Kesha is voluntarily dismissing her claims in the California case, it is because she has no chance of winning them,” Dr. Luke’s attorney Christine Lepera said in a statement to the Associated Press. “Kesha never should have brought her false and meritless claims against Dr. Luke in any court.”


Lepera is right: You don't drop a case that you are certain you can win. But Kesha's California case has been paused since May, and at that time her lawyers indicated that the case might be revived at a later date. Petrocelli noted to Billboard yesterday that they filed to voluntarily dismiss the claims without prejudice, which means they could proceed with the same claims again later.

That is still an option. They could choose to return to this case after they know the results of the case in New York.

Meanwhile, Kesha will continue to wage her battle in the Empire State. Most recently, in February, a New York judge denied Kesha permission to be released from her contract before a full trial takes place. That means that to create new music, Kesha must do so with Sony under her contract with Dr. Luke despite her claims that this would be nearly impossible.  By dropping her California case, Kesha's legal team will be able to focus on her legal battle in New York. The full trial is scheduled to take place in 2017.

In the wake of that injunction's verdict, Sony announced that Kesha was allowed to make music even if she didn't feel she was in a creative headspace to do so.


According to Kesha's team, she's sent 28 new songs to Sony, possibly the beginnings of a new album. By announcing that publicly, Kesha can't guarantee that her next album will get made, but at least she knows there will be some accountability on the label to review and work with her going forward as they've said they will.


Kesha is currently on tour. You can buy tickets to see her show here.

Kelsey McKinney is a culture staff writer for Fusion.