Dr. Luke handed setback in defamation legal case against Kesha

A court has ruled that the producer will have to prove malice on Kesha's part to win his case against the singer

Dr. Luke has suffered a setback in his defamation case against Kesha.

Back in April, Kesha was denied an appeal of a legal ruling that she defamed Dr. Luke, after the New York Court of Appeals ruled that the producer does not qualify as a “public figure”.

Now, as The Hollywood Reporter report, a new ruling states that the producer – real name Lukasz Gottwald – will have to prove that Kesha made her initial claims against him with malicious intent. The ruling, from New York Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter, also states that Kesha will have the right to file a counterclaim to Gottwald’s defamation suit.


The legal battle between the two has been ongoing since 2014 when Kesha sued Dr. Luke, alleging emotional abuse and sexual assault. Dr. Luke then countersued Kesha, claiming she had breached the recording contract they had with one another and made up rape allegations in an attempt to get out of the deal.

Kesha. Credit: NME / Jenn Five

In February 2020, a New York Supreme Court judge ruled that Kesha had defamed Gottwald in a text she sent to Lady Gaga claiming Gottwald had raped Katy Perry – a claim both Perry and Gottwald have denied.

Later that day, Kesha’s legal team revealed they would be appealing the verdict immediately. On April 22, that appeal was denied, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Following the latest development, Gottwald’s lawyer gave a statement to Pitchfork about the ruling. Christine Lepera said: “Today’s court hearing was only about a technical legal issue: the burden of proof at trial. Dr. Luke would have filed this case regardless of the burden of proof.


“At trial, Dr. Luke will prove to the jury, as he has always maintained, that Kesha spread a vicious lie to get out of her contracts.  Kesha refuses to make any claim against Luke that she had would have the burden of proof on—because she knows she would lose and that she is lying.”

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