Feb. 19, 2016. Pop star Kesha leaves Supreme court in New York after a hearing involving her producer, Dr. Luke. (The Associated Press)
Fans of the pop star Kesha on Friday called on Sony to cut ties with the producer she has accused of raping her.
About 35 Kesha fans gathered outside Sony’s Manhattan headquarters to deliver petitions with more than 411,000 signatures demanding that the label release Kesha from her Sony recording contract and drop the producer, Dr. Luke.
Armed with signs that said “Free Kesha Now,” the group chanted “Do the right thing!” and “People over profits!” Protesters also danced to Kesha’s songs.
Kate DeVivo, 18, said she covered her mouth with glittery tape reading “Dr. Luke” to represent Kesha’s situation.
“What’s happening to her is wrong,” said DeVivo, who skipped high school in Bergen County, New Jersey, to attend the group’s third rally.
The hit-making producer, born Lukasz Gottwald, is not charged with any crime.
He says Kesha fabricated her story about being drugged and raped a decade ago to get out of her recording contract.
His lawyers point to a 2011 legal deposition in which Kesha said under oath that Dr. Luke “never made sexual advances” toward her. When asked whether he’d given her the date-rape drug known as a “roofie,” she said, “No.”
Kesha’s lawyers said the singer, born Kesha Rose Sebert, had been too afraid of the producer to speak up at the time.
Friday’s hourlong rally comes a month after a Manhattan judge denied the “Tik Tok” singer’s initial request to be released from her contract.
The hearing led to an outpouring of support from celebrities, including Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga.
Sony did not immediately respond to requests for comment.