Dr. Luke and his lawyers have subpoenaed Michael Eisele, the founder of the #FreeKesha movement, for conspiring to defame him with “bogus Internet petitions.” According to court documents obtained by Pitchfork, the Sony music producer alleged Eisele is intentionally spreading false information surrounding his ongoing lawsuit with Kesha. The documents state Eisele is “closely coordinating” with Kesha’s personal team to spread “defamatory statements and tarnish [Dr. Luke]’s reputation.”
The arduous legal battle between Dr. Luke and Kesha has now reached unnerving heights when last year, Eisele spearheaded the online “#FreeKesha” petition that obtained over 230,000 signatures worldwide. According to the Guardian, Eisele is also in charge of the @KeshaTODAY Twitter account.
The loyal fan organized two #FreeKesha rallies outside the New York headquarters of Sony Music. Kesha supporters delivered the #FreeKesha petition asking Sony to drop Dr. Luke from his contract with the company and to release Kesha from working with him.
The latest subpoena, if ordered by the judge, would force Eisele to testify under questioning by lawyers appointed by Dr. Luke.
“Plaintiffs allege that Ms. Sebert and her representatives closely coordinated with Mr. Eisele to spread Ms. Sebert’s defamatory statements and tarnish Plaintiffs’ reputation. Plaintiffs further allege that Ms. Sebert, individually and through her representatives, has breached her contracts with Plaintiffs by, inter alia, encouraging and assisting Mr. Eisele in creating bogus Internet ‘petitions’ and in engaging in other tactics to pressure Sony Music Entertainment to terminate its business with Plaintiffs… As such, Plaintiffs believe that Mr. Eisele has information that is material and necessary to the prosecution of this action and is not reasonably available from any of the parties.”
Dr. Luke and Kesha have been fighting in New York court since 2014. The Sony music producer sued the singer for defamation and she countersued based on her assertions of rape and other abuse.
In February, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald filed documents requesting a judge to add a defamation claim against Kesha in his lawsuit. According to Dr. Luke’s amended complaint, his team discovered Kesha sent texts to Lady Gaga claiming Dr. Luke raped other artists.
Kesha’s allegedly false accusations have been widely circulated throughout the music industry. Dr. Luke asserts the “TiK ToK” singer is on a “malicious campaign to destroy” his reputation and career, Dr. Luke’s lawyer, Christine Lepera, said in a statement to the Daily Mail.
“Kesha initiated a text message conversation with Stefani Germanotta, the recording artist who is professionally known as ‘Lady Gaga.’ During this text message conversation, Kesha falsely and baselessly asserted that Kesha and another female recording artist (the ‘Other Recording Artist’) had both been raped by Gottwald … Since this text message conversation, Lady Gaga has spread negative messages about Gottwald in the press. Indeed, Lady Gaga has gone so far as to suggest during a radio interview that she possesses secret information regarding Gottwald that is damaging to him. Lady Gaga’s statements during this radio interview were thereafter repeated and spread widely by many international media outlets.”
Dr. Luke also alleged that Kesha and her mother are actively engaging in a “smear campaign,” and that the artist refuses to fulfill her contractual obligations.
“Dr. Luke seeks to add an additional defamation claim against Kesha based upon the discovery of another false and defamatory statement she made about him that was part of her calculated effort to harm his reputation and business… Kesha’s new proposed counterclaim simply repeats the meritless and untrue allegations that were set forth in her earlier pleadings and which Dr. Luke fully disputes.”
Kesha again filed her own legal docs claiming Dr. Luke is seeking revenge against her, and as a result, she has not been allowed to release new music. Her lawyers claim that Dr. Luke has “verbally abused and physically threatened Kesha during the parties’ contractual relationship.”
According to People, Kesha is credited with co-writing all of the tracks on two of her LPs, 2010’s Animal, 2012’s Warrior, and her 2010 EP Cannibal. Kesha also co-wrote the song “Timber,” a 2013 collaboration with Pitbull.
Dr. Luke has produced some of the biggest pop hits of the past decade and has worked with stars including Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, and Kelly Clarkson. Several of Katy Perry’s songs, including “Roar,” “California Gurls,” and “I Kissed a Girl,” were produced by Dr. Luke.
Kesha hasn’t released an LP for Kemosabe since her 2012 album, Warrior. The last EP Kesha released was her 2013 record, Deconstructed. It has been reported that Sony Music has since furnished Kesha with a list of producers Kesha can collaborate with. As a result of these new collabs, Kesha will drop a single called “True Colors” featuring Zedd, this April.
Lawyers for Dr. Luke and Kesha have not responded to Pitchfork‘s requests for comment. Eisele has also declined to comment to Pitchfork.
[Featured Image by Dennis Van Tine/AP Images]