On Thursday, Judge Jennifer G. Schecter ruled that a February 2016 text message the singer sent to Lady Gaga, alleging that former producer Dr. Luke (Lukasz Gottwald) raped Katy Perry (which Perry denied), amounts to defamation. The judge also wrote that Gottwald is not a public figure—one of Kesha’s defenses in the case—and has never publicly addressed the allegations or other allegations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry: “The only reason Gottwald has any public connection to the issues raised in this lawsuit is because they were raised in this lawsuit.”
It’s another hurdle in Kesha’s ongoing legal battle with Gottwald. In August 2016, she dropped her sexual assault lawsuit against him, but the producer’s defamation lawsuit against Kesha goes back to 2014, when he claims Kesha fabricated a rape allegation to get out of a recording contract.
The judge ordered Kesha to pay $374,000 interest on royalties, as part of her breach of contract, to Gottwald’s company KMI. Fans were understandably upset about the ruling.
Unfortunately Dr Luke has won his defamation lawsuit against Kesha. We are all sending our love to her while she’s going through this difficult time. No survivor of sexual assault should ever have to pay anything to the person who abused them. #FreeKesha— Kesha Crave (@KeshaCrave) February 7, 2020
there’s so much proof that dr puke is an abuser and rapist yet the court is making kesha pay millions fo dollars to him. i am so disgusted and so upset right now. #FreeKesha— jacob ✨ (@jacobloveskesha) February 7, 2020
Kesha’s legal team plans to appeal.
Update Feb. 10, 11:05am CT: Dr. Luke’s legal team sent this statement about the ruling:
Kesha abandoned her meritless case against Dr. Luke more than three years ago. The only remaining lawsuit is Dr. Luke’s case against Kesha for defamation and breach of contract. Dr. Luke is pursuing this lawsuit to seek recovery for the serious harm Kesha’s false accusations of rape have caused Dr. Luke, his family and his business.
Today’s important decision by the Court in Dr. Luke’s lawsuit brings him closer to the justice that he seeks. First, the Court has now ruled that Kesha made a false and defamatory accusation about Dr. Luke when she baselessly claimed that he raped Katy Perry. Second, the Court rejected Kesha’s attempts to invoke legal technicalities to avoid responsibility for her statements. And third, the Court also correctly held that Kesha breached her contract with Dr. Luke’s company.
Dr. Luke looks forward to the trial of his case where he will prove that Kesha’s other false statements about him were equally false and defamatory.
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