Report: Dr. Luke Attempting to Subpoena Organizer of #FreeKesha Petition
An outspoken Kesha fan appears to be the latest point of contention in the bitter legal battle between the pop singer and her former producer Dr. Luke. Recently, Luke’s camp moved to subpoena pro-Kesha protest organizer Michael Eisele, Pitchfork reports.
Eisele organized last year’s #FreeKesha online petition and two fan rallies outside Sony Music’s New York headquarters. In February 2016, the Guardian reported that Eisele—then 19 years old—operates the Twitter account @KeshaTODAY. Lawyers for Dr. Luke claim Kesha (real name Kesha Rose Sebert) “closely coordinated” with Eisele to spread “defamatory statements” about Luke, and as a result, they want to question Eisele. They wrote:
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.
Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records, the label to which Kesha is bound by contract, is a subsidiary of Sony Music. Sony has said it has no authority to intervene in Kesha’s contract with Kemosabe.
Kesha and Luke have been locked in court since 2014, when Kesha first publicly accused Luke of sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse throughout her career. The producer subsequently counter-sued for defamation and breach of contract. Recently, Luke moved to add an additional countersuit against Kesha for allegedly accusing him of raping another female artist in a text to Lady Gaga. Last month, each side released competing sets of emails intended to support or deny Kesha’s allegations of emotional abuse.