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Kesha Ordered To Pay $373,000 To Dr. Luke Over Defamation Regarding Katy Perry & Lady GaGa Texts

Kesha defamation case payment to Dr. Luke over Katy Perry Lady GaGa texts

Kesha has suffered a legal setback in her ongoing courtroom battle with Dr. Luke.

According to documents first obtained by ET, a judge on Thursday ordered the Warrior singer to pay more than $373,000 to the music producer as part of a broader ruling against her. As you’ll recall, Kesha has long been fighting a defamation lawsuit brought on by the producer, real name Lukasz Gottwald, regarding claims she made about an alleged rape in 2016.

Related: Dr. Luke’s Team SLAMS Lady GaGa’s Emotional Deposition Over Texts

In the court docs, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter ruled the Tik Tok singer defamed Gottwald by sending that infamous 2016 text message to Lady GaGa, in which she asserted he had raped fellow singer Katy Perry.

Citing Perry’s own words from a 2017 deposition in which she denies ever having been raped by Dr. Luke, the Judge ruled against Kesha, writing in summary (below):

“[In the text message] Kesha made a false statement to Lady Gaga about Gottwald that was defamatory per se. There is no evidence whatsoever that [Dr. Luke] raped Katy Perry. Moreover, publication of a false statement to even one person, here Lady Gaga, is sufficient to impose liability.”

Judge Schecter further ruled against the arguments made by the pop singer’s legal team — notably positing that Dr. Luke is not a “public figure,” and therefore the “actual malice standard is inapplicable” in this instance.

Kesha attends red carpet event
Kesha, pictured here in 2018 at an AFI Fest red carpet event. / (c) Brian To/WENN

Broadly speaking, the line for defamation is different for a public figure than a regular person, but the judge ruled Gottwald is not a public figure outside of a small niche in the music industry. Because of that, Kesha’s actions to send the text message in question came “with malice” in this instance.

Dr. Luke now “closer to justice”…

In response to the court’s ruling on Thursday, the 46-year-old producer’s legal team released a statement to ET, saying (below):

“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.”


The 32-year-old’s legal team also released their own (much shorter) statement to Variety about the court’s decision, as well:

“We disagree with the Court’s rulings. We plan to immediately appeal.”

And so the legal battle rages on, just as it has for the last six years. This is far from the final ruling in the case, either; things will soon move to trial. There, a jury will be tasked with determining whether Kesha’s own personal rape allegations against Dr. Luke were made “in good faith,” or if they were produced so as to obtain business leverage over the music maker.

Still plenty of difficulties ahead, for sure. Tough stuff all around.

[Image via Adriana M. Barraza/WENN]

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Feb 07, 2020 07:35am PDT