SONY Drops Dr. Luke As Legal Battle With Kesha Continues

#FreeKesha

It appears that Mr. Gottwald is no longer the CEO of Kemosabe Records, the subsidiary of Sony that released Kesha’s two studio albums. The Hollywood Reporter has stated new court documents have surfaced, reading “Lukasz Gottwald is no longer the CEO of Kemosabe Records and does not have authority to act on its behalf.”

It’s been three years since Kesha has accused Dr. Luke, real name Lukasz Gottwald, of physically, mentally and sexually abusing her over the course of ten years. The official lawsuit stated, “Dr. Luke abused Ms. Sebert in order to destroy her self-confidence, self-image, and self-worth so that he could maintain complete control over her life and career.”

In February 2016, New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich denied Kesha’s request for preliminary injunction to release her from her contract with Kemosabe Records. Ms. Kornreich is married to Ed Kornreich, a lawyer who is a partner in the legal firm Proskauer Rose who represent Sony. The judge said the contract was “heavily negotiated and typical for the industry”. The verdict spurred the #FreeKesha online trending movement, with stars Adele and Lady Gaga publicly supporting Kesha. Taylor Swift even donated a large sum to aid in the legal battle.

Kesha said, “This case has never been about a renegotiation of my record contract — it was never about getting a bigger, or a better, deal. This is about being free from my abuser. I would be willing to work with Sony if they do the right thing and break all ties that bind me to my abuser.”

After continuing to dismiss all of Kesha’s abuse claims, the judge refused to amend the original case in March of this year and it’s unclear what will happen in the ongoing case with all the counter-claims and appeals that have occured. Sony has, in addition, deleted the Dr. Luke page on their website and further distanced themselves from the accused abuser. While this action is long-awaited on Sony’s part, it could in fact hurt Kesha’s cause. No longer having Sony as a go-between makes it more difficult for the singer and it also gives merit to the defamation claims Dr. Luke has issued citing Kesha’s allegations against him as hurting his career.

Kesha has said Dr. Luke has retained a “suffocating control” over her life, including body-shaming revealed through emails and his insistence on making her image solely a party girl for her brand. “To this day, I’ve never released a single that’s a true ballad, and I feel like those are the songs that balance out the perception of you, because you can be a fun girl. You can go and have a crazy night out, but you also, as a human being, have vulnerable emotions. You have love.” She has reportedly recorded over 70 new songs since the lawsuit, unable to release them, but hopes to do so sometime this year.

#FreeKesha.

Amanda Knox’s Ex-Boyfriend Suing Italian Authorities For “Mistakes”

“What fascinates me is why they keep going on about it. They’ve been let free – so why keep going on? It’s bizarre.”

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were convicted and cleared twice by Italian authorities for the murder of Meredith Kercher, Knox’s flatmate, in a drawn-out legal battle that spanned almost a decade and left them incarcerated for 4 years. They were definitively exonerated by the Italian Supreme Court of all charges in 2015 and Rudy Guede was eventually convicted for the sexual assault and murder of Meredith Kercher in a 16-year sentence.

Years later, Sollecito states that he believes Knox has found it easier to move on as a freelance journalist. “She is American and she lives in another state… I’m in Italy, everything occurred over here and I’m Italian and that makes a big difference.” He also claims that the tragedy has destroyed his life.

John Kercher, father of Meredith Kercher – the deceased – states, “What fascinates me is why they keep going on about it. They’ve been let free – so why keep going on? It’s bizarre.”

Sollecito says he is in €440,000 worth of debt and is attempting to sue the Italian authorities for maximum compensation over ruining his reputation, as many in Italy still believe him to be guilty. While the Italian court has rejected his compensation claim, acknowledging his unjust imprisonment but due to his contradictory or “frankly untrue” statements at the beginning of the investigation which constituted “intent or gross negligence” they have ruled out his right to compensation. Ms. Giulia Bongiorno, Sollecito’s lawyer, plans to appeal the decision at the supreme court arguing that the court failed to consider Mr. Sollecito was under duress while giving the contradictory statements.

Meanwhile, on the two year anniversary of her exoneration Knox tweeted: “2 years ago today, the Italian Supreme Court found @Raffasolaries & me definitively innocent. Thank you to all who defended us along the way.”

Sollecito and Knox have both written books about their experiences and are both featured in the Netflix documentary “Amanda Knox” that goes through the lengthy case from start-to-finish. Meredith Kercher’s sister, Stephanie, criticises the documentary for being “unnecessary” in its graphic content and says that neither her nor her family have, or will, watch it. “If it was a program about what actually happened,” She states, “If they were investigating all the possibilities and looking at everything that happened, that might be different, but from what I can gather it is mainly a documentary about Amanda Knox’s experience and it didn’t answer lots of the nagging questions people have.” She goes on to explain, “And there’s still many questions that these documentaries fail to address, key questions the producers avoid including… The fact remains that the court found Rudy Guede guilty of the murder but in the final decision, one of the things the court reiterated, was the fact he didn’t act alone.”

Sollecito has, additionally, begun writing a second book which is in the works to be published.

Chechen Concentration Camp For Gay Men

“They always hit us below the waist — on the thighs, the buttocks, the loins. They said we were dogs who had no right to life.”

Russia’s only independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, has released a publication claiming gay men are being forcefully detained in concentration camps in the Russian republic of Chechnya. Interviews with eyewitnesses and survivors state that Chechen police are using electric shock torture and violent interrogations to force the homosexuals to promise to leave the republic.

“They kept our phones switched on.” One detainee said. “Any man who calls or texts is a new target.” He also described being beaten with a plastic pipe, being forced to sit on bottles and having his hands electrocuted. “They always hit us below the waist — on the thighs, the buttocks, the loins. They said we were dogs who had no right to life.”

The Russian group LGBT Network has released a statement, “No national and/or religious traditions and norms can justify kidnapping or killing of a human being. Any references to “tradition” to justify kidnapping and killing are amoral and criminal.” The group also claimed to be ready to evacuate people.

Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch wrote, “Some of the men have forcibly disappeared. Others were returned to their families barely alive from beatings.” The expectation of the family was to perform an honour killing. She adds, “At least three men apparently have died since this brutal campaign began.”

Last week, Chechen police had rounded up more than 100 men suspected of being gay – killing three of them – only for a representative of the president to claim, later on, “You cannot detain and persecute people who simply do not exist in the republic.” After suggesting there are no gay people in the federal subject of Russia, he went on to add, “If there were such people in Chechnya, the law-enforcement organs wouldn’t need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning.”

The president himself, Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been accused of extensive human rights violations, decided to hold his own version of The Hunger Games last year. Children, as young as eight, beat each other senseless in what he called a mixed martial arts “sport” for the entertainment of adults. After MMA champion Fyodor Yemelyanenko criticised the tournament, calling it “unacceptable”, his 16-year-old daughter was beaten up walking the streets of Moscow.

Donations can be made to help the men here and joining the Urgent Action on Chechnya charity would also be very much appreciated. It is unclear what will happen in regards to this camp.