For my second document of learning, after switching topics multiple times, I finally decided on my original idea: The Dr. Luke and Kesha case. Not only am I familiar with the artist, but I also thought it would be a good idea to focus on a topic I didn’t have that much prior knowledge on. I want to learn more about the nature of sexual assault cases, as well as understand the many different perspectives that come with a situation like this one. Overall, I hope to explore my own opinions on this case as well as to come to a final conclusion about this topic.
In October of 2014, Kesha filed a lawsuit against Dr. Luke after claiming he had sexually, physically, as well as emotionally abused her. Having first met in 2005, Dr. Luke had heard her demos and convinced Kesha to drop out of school and move to LA where she signed a record deal stating that she must record a minimum of six albums for the company to release her. After filing many more law suits against each other, the final decision was made in February of this year. The Supreme Court denied her access to be released from her music contract until she produced four more albums, making a total of six.
After researching and following this topic for a couple weeks now, I ended up having a lot of questions. Some I had already answered for myself after some more research, but others cannot be answered as simply.
One important question I had was “Why can’t Sony just release Kesha from her contract?” When I first heard about this case, one major question I asked myself was why doesn’t Sony just let her go instead? After researching this, I found out that it isn’t as simple as I had thought. While Sony could be willing to release Kesha, Sony had partnered with Dr. Luke to form Kemosabe Records back in 2011 which is the label that Kesha is signed under. This means that even if Sony wants to let Kesha out of her contract, they cannot fully do so unless Dr. Luke is also willing to let her go.
The next question I had was “What is the ‘best’ way to handle rape accusations/cases?” This is a question that I can only ponder about as I understand there is no one answer. While I would love to believe that everyone is constantly telling the truth and that we can trust everyone’s word, I understand that the world is not like that. This is a question I hope to understand more into my document of learning post.
So what? Who cares?
Often, people forget that celebrities are still just regular people, so to see a celebrity come out and admit they have been sexually assaulted is quite rare. A reason why this topic is relevant right now is because of the potential impact it could have on women and men around the world if Kesha can end up getting released from her contract. Seeing such a high profile celebrity fight her way and succeed in getting justice could potentially inspire other victims around the world to come out and report their own cases. There are many different reasons as to why rape and sexual assault victims do not go through and report their own cases. Whether it is because of embarrassment or believing that they won’t get justice, Kesha’s case against Dr. Luke could positively impact sexual assault victims around the world. Even if Kesha does not end up winning, simply being brave enough to speak out about her case could help inspire many.
Informing & Evidence
Information about Kesha and Dr. Luke’s case has been floating on the internet everywhere. There are countless articles and websites that cover the topic, many of which that I checked and cross referenced with.
Article that sums up the case very well:
— A (@talonsandrea) February 23, 2016
One interesting piece of writing I found on Forbe’s website was an article stating that “Sony is Reportedly Cutting Dr. Luke Loose.” From looking more into the topic, I found on other websites that Sony may have been pressured to make this decision after countless celebrities and media platforms spoke out in support of Kesha. However, from looking even more into the topic, I found that when asked, a Sony representative simply answered with “no comment.” Dr. Luke’s attorney has stepped forward and claimed these accusations are false, however, Sony still has not denied it. You can find the article here.
Other websites to visit:
One piece of evidence that could show Kesha is telling the truth is a point that Mira made in class. For the past couple of years, Kesha has been in court battling this case. In January of 2014, Kesha entered rehab and first filed her lawsuit against Dr. Luke in October of the same year. If this whole case really is just a publicity stunt, Kesha did not gain much from this experience. Not only has she not been making music since her lawsuit, but she was also relatively out of the media up until her court date. The amount of effort and time this case has taken would be a great imbalance in work and the fame she would receive. That is one of the main reasons that I believe that Kesha is telling the truth.
There are many different contributing factors as to why Dr. Luke allegedly sexually assaulted Kesha. However, I understand that I will most likely not be able to uncover all of them. Especially since Dr. Luke has denied all accusations, I will most likely not be able to find any information as to why he allegedly sexually assaulted Kesha.
However for Kesha, a cause of her finally stepping up about her history with Dr. Luke could be from being in rehab. As stated before, Kesha entered Timberline Knolls, a rehab facility, in January 2014 for an eating disorder. There was reports that stated that while Kesha was there, she told doctors about Dr. Luke drugging and physically/sexually abusing her. While the public will probably never fully find out, a possibility could have been that one of her doctors at the rehab encouraged her to take action in her and Dr. Luke’s complicated relationship.
There are many POV to this case; Mainly Kesha’s and Dr. Luke’s. As stated before, Kesha has accused Dr. Luke of sexually, physically, and emotionally abusing her, as well as even drugging her with date rape drugs. The public is mainly in support of Kesha, including various celebrities such as Adele, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and countless others. With tags such as #FreeKesha roaming around the internet, it is also quite easy to see that the media is also on Kesha’s side. However, is the public’s views objective? More often than not, people like to side with the victim as we feel sympathetic and sorry for them. While my opinion is also probably objective, I do want to believe that Kesha is telling the truth based on evidence rather than my personal feelings.
The next POV to look at is Dr. Luke’s. If Kesha is telling the truth, it is pretty obvious that anyone on the opposite side would want to deny any allegations. But what if Kesha happens to be lying? While I personally don’t think this the more I look into the case, there is always a possibility. We must try to sympathise with all sides of this story. Imagine if Dr. Luke did happen to be innocent, but now his career and reputation have been tarnished as people are bashing him on social media, at award shows, and on many websites. Even celebrities have not been shy about supporting Kesha. If in the rare case that Kesha is lying, then the objective views of the public have potentially ruined an innocent man’s career. This is where the phrase “innocent until proven guilty” comes in. While most people do believe Kesha is telling the truth, without any solid evidence, it is hard to convict Dr. Luke of this crime in the rare case it is all a publicity stunt.
What do we do? Conclusion
While I had hoped to come to a decisive conclusion at the end of this blog post, I am realizing that there really is no right answer to my original question of “What is the ‘best’ way to deal with rape/sexual assault cases?” In the end, I believe that each rape case should be treated differently based on the provided evidence and people involved. However, as someone who doesn’t fully understand the court system, that conclusion may be totally wrong, but none the less, I do believe that rape cases should be treated differently than other cases as the consequences (emotional, physical, mental) differ from case to case.
In the past, rape in marriage was not seen as a large deal as in many cultures, the concept of consent even in marriage was not widely recognized. From reading up on marital rape, I can see that consequences of rape have been greatly improved as time passes. While my answer to the question “What is the proper way to deal with rape/sexual assault cases?” is still there is no right way, I am glad to know that with time, these cases have been started to taken more seriously.
Thank you for reading my second document of learning! I am looking forward to exploring and following this topic even more!