Judge Rules Kesha Defamed Dr. Luke By Telling Lady Gaga He Raped Katy Perry
By Paris Close
February 7, 2020
Update: Christine Lepera and Gottwald's legal team have since issued a statement following the ruling, below.
A judge has determined Kesha defamed Dr. Luke with a wrongful allegation of rape.
On Thursday (February 6), the music producer, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, won his defamation case against the “High Road” singer, whom he claims falsely accused him of sexually abusing Katy Perry via a text message to Lady Gaga. However, New York Supreme Court Judge Jennifer G. Schechter determined that Kesha’s claims were defamatory, citing Perry’s denial and the lack of evidence to support her claim.
The ruling, obtained by Variety, comes after Gottwald sued Kesha in 2014 for claiming he drugged and raped her, arguing the pop star made up the allegation in an attempt to get out of her recording contract. What’s more, many of Kesha’s other defenses in the case were also rejected.
Among them was Kesha’s defense that Gottwald was a “public figure,” which Schechter denied as the producer had not been involved in public discourse on sexual assault prior to her accusation. “Though Gottwald has sought publicity for his label, his music, and his artists — none of which are the subject of the defamation here — he never injected himself into the public debate about sexual assault or abuse of artists in the entertainment industry,” Schechter wrote. “The only reason Gottwald has any public connection to the issues raised in this lawsuit is because they were raised in this lawsuit.”
Additionally, the “Tik Tok” vocalist was ordered to pay $374,000 in interest on delayed royalty payments to Gottwald’s company, per breach of contract. Schechter did not rule on the factuality of whether Gottwald sexually assaulted Kesha, a decision that would be up to a jury to determine.
As of yet, Variety reports Kesha’s legal team intends to appeal.
The statement from Christine Lepera and Gottwald's legal team reads as follows:
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.
You can read the ruling in full here.
Photo: Getty Images