I’m thinking of a talented individual known around the world.
Young and ambitious, this person plays the trumpet, saxophone and was in the high school marching band.
In a NPR interview, the individual described themselves as a diligent student. No surprise this person achieved a 1500 on their SAT score – not bad considering Bill Gates pulled a 1590.
This up-and-coming intellectual was given a full scholarship to Barnard College, a school affiliated and located directly across the street from Columbia University in New York.
If you’re thinking of a Silicon Valley “Brogrammer” sitting on the next billion-dollar project, you may be surprised to learn who I am describing; it’s Kesha.
Kesha Rose Sebert is a pop star with a deep talent and passion for music. Many are aware that her mother was a singer-songwriter who co-wrote songs belted out by the legendary Dolly Parton. The Sebert family was poor, living in Nashville, but together they made the most of it.
The recent controversy between Kesha and her music producer Dr. Luke will unfold in the media, with each side’s version coming into the public spotlight. At the heart of the issue – in case you have not already heard – is that Kesha has claimed that producer Dr. Luke sexually, physically and verbally assaulted her for 10 years, and therefore she should be released from her contract to make music for his Kemosabe Records.
Kesha was only 18 years old when she signed a contract with Dr. Luke in 2005. Her hit single “Tik Tok” was released in 2010. In between that time, she co-wrote songs, sang background vocals, and on one occasion, by accident, walked into a Los Angeles studio with Dr. Luke and Flo Rida and sang back up vocals for the song “Right Round.”
She was paid nothing and given no credit for that U.S. release.
Kesha was very active between 2005 and 2010. She hustled as a waitress in L.A. to pay her rent, and wrote over 200 songs for her debut album “Animal.” And while “Tik Tok” is not everyone’s favorite, it does hold the record for the highest grossing single by a female artist, breaking the previous record from more than 35 years ago.
Just last week, a New York judge ruled that Kesha’s music contract remains valid, despite the alleged abuse she endured. In response, Kesha said herself yesterday in a Facebook post: “Unfortunately I don’t think that my case is giving people who have been abused confidence that they can speak out, and that’s a problem.”
That is a very serious problem. A survivor of abuse needs someone to talk to, but they may feel reluctant to speak out of shame.
The important thing to remember is: if you suffer abuse, it is not ever your fault.
As a lawyer representing victims of sexual abuse and harassment, you can speak with someone like me or any of my colleagues. These talks are in complete confidence. Lawyers take an oath known as “attorney/client privilege” that makes communications entirely confidential.
Many people do not know that a moniker for a lawyer is “counselor.” We are in fact counselors on human rights and laws of our nation. You can always talk to one of us and not feel pressured.
With Kesha’s millions of fans, it may seem unbelievable that something like this happened to an individual in the public spotlight. But the fact remains that victims of sexual abuse often do not report the matter to authorities.
If you have been harassed or abused, please reach out to an attorney, family member or close friend who is not aligned with the abuser.
Always remember, we are here to support you.
We stand with you @KeshaRose!
Jessica Pride, Esq.