Saturday, 27 February 2016

Suck it up

One of the worst things that can happen to you is to be in constant fear of someone else. Worse still, when people don't believe you or won't do anything about it.

Which is why I'm following the case of the American singer Kesha and her record producer Dr Luke Gottwald with great interest.

It seems outrageous that a judge has denied the singer's request to be released from a six-album recording contract with Dr Luke, who Kesha claims physically, mentally and sexually assaulted her for ten years and left her permanently scared.

If you can't even rely on the courts to protect you, because the sanctity of a commercial contract is deemed more important than personal safety, that's a sorry state of affairs.

It's odd that the judge was so indifferent to Kesha's suffering. British contract law says there must be "mutual trust and confidence" between both parties, which clearly has broken down in Kesha's case. But maybe the law is different in the States.

Personally I haven't been in fear of other people that much. I was often scared of my father's foul temper. I was often scared of the other pupils at my boarding school, who bullied me on and off for four years. I was often scared of a tyrannical line manager who thought nobody did their job properly except himself. But thankfully I've never known the dreadful experience of being terrified of someone day in and day out, with no end in sight and no support from anyone else.

Kesha's case unfortunately reinforces the idea that if someone's abusing you, you'd better just put up with it and stop whinging. Don't try to get help from anyone else because they'll just laugh at you and walk away.

Many celebrities have pledged their support for her and demanded that the record contract be cancelled, but whether they'll have any effect is anyone's guess. Watch this space.

Pic: Kesha


  1. Abuse is abuse is abuse
    Plain and simple

  2. john said it.
    i managed to get involved with an abuser after my bob died.
    i eventually weighed 87 pounds and was headed toward death.
    wound up in the hospital on IV's to get my electrolytes back in sync.
    one looks back and thinks... "i'm intelligent and rational. how in the world did i let that happen to me? how did i not know?"
    it's insidious. and slow. and when it's mental and emotional abuse...
    it's not as noticeable as physical... but just as deadly.
    bless her. and hope that she gets some decent support in her cause.

  3. John: Indeed. But there are still too many people who try to gloss over it and pretend it's not really happening.

    Tammy: I'm sorry to hear about that. I'm glad you recovered from it. I think it's often the case that it creeps up on you so gradually you become used to it and you don't properly recognise it as abuse. And once you're enmeshed it it can be very hard to break out of it.

  4. And good for Adele for sticking up for her.

  5. I sure hope he gets his comeuppance.

  6. Helen: Yes, it's good to see so many celebs rallying round. Probably since some of them have been in a similar position with contract disputes.

    Jean: I hope so. He can't go on protesting his innocence for ever.

  7. I have to disagree that anyone has told her to suck it up and stop whining. She seems to have a lot of support from her peers and the general public. From what I've read, it's just really hard to get out of that sort of contract, plus she's dealing with Sony, a giant in the industry. If I'm reading it right, no one is forcing her to continue working with the abuser. She just can't go make music under a different record label than Sony.

  8. Bijoux: You've got me there. I don't know if she can refuse to work with Dr Luke or not. As I understand it, he is an independent subsidiary of Sony, so Kesha is effectively employed by him and Sony say they cannot intervene.

  9. A survivor- it never goes away

  10. Suburbia: She certainly looks like a survivor, despite everything she's been through. She's getting masses of support from the public and other celebs.

  11. Lawyer Alex Aldridge says that American contract law presumes an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. So the Supreme Court must have decided for some reason that this requirement was not breached. Which is hard to understand.

  12. A clear case of the letter of law being upheld instead of the spirit and while a judgement was delivered, justice has not.

  13. Ramana: Well, it seems like the law was interpreted in a way that favoured Luke Gottwald and not Kesha, and his appalling treatment of her over a long period was simply ignored.

  14. I'm supporting Kesha too. Having had an abusive mother both verbal and physical I know first hand what it's like to be trapped in a frightening relationship.