Amid his two-and-a-half year (and still ongoing) legal battle with singer Kesha, Sony Music has reportedly removed Dr. Luke from his post as CEO of Kemosabe Records.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, "the two sides are in the midst of negotiating a split" despite another source denying "the notion of a divorce."
Still, THR reports that court papers confirm Dr. Luke is no longer CEO of Kemosabe, the record label co-founded and -created by the producer and its parent company in November 2011. At the time, the deal gave Sony Music exclusive rights to Dr. Luke's services for five years, meaning he could only write and produce for Sony artists. In return, the agreement gave him free rein to hire staff and sign his own artists. One of which was Kesha, in 2005.
But after creating a series of hits together, including "Tik Tok" and "We R Who We R," in October 2014, Kesha filed in California claims of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse against Dr. Luke. He then countersued for defamation in New York. Kesha then countersued in New York, alleging sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender violence, but a judge there refused to grant her a preliminary injunction that would have allowed her to suspend her contract and work with other producers and labels while her case was pending. The same judge then dismissed the majority of Kesha's claims, including those of a gender-based hate crime, gender discrimination, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Last week, Kesha filed an appeal on a previously rejected bid to impose California's seven-year limit on personal service contracts.
For now, as THR has reported, Sony Music has confirmed that Dr. Luke "no longer has authority to act on [Kemosabe's] behalf."