A New York Supreme Court judge ruled that Kesha defamed Dr. Luke in a text message to Lady Gaga claiming he raped Katy Perry.
In the latest bout in the six-year legal tangle between the two, the 32-year-old musical artist was ordered to pay the 46-year-old producer, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, $374,000 in late royalty fees on Thursday.
The Los Angeles native, whose full name is Kesha Rose Sebert, initially sued Gottwald in 2014 claiming he had sexually assaulted and emotionally abused her.
Gottwald filed his own suit against the singer in 2017, saying she’d breached their contract, and defamed him with false rape allegations in an effort to have it overturned.
The Right Round songstress also accused Gottwald of having sexually assaulted both her and Katy Perry, which Perry subsequently denied in a deposition.
In her ruling, Judge Jennifer G. Schecter said that Perry’s testimony, and a lack of evidence thereof, led to the defamation ruling, according to court docs published in Variety.
‘There is no evidence whatsoever that Gottwald raped Katy Perry,’ Schecter said. ‘Moreover, publication of a false statement to even one person, here Lady Gaga, is sufficient to impose liability.’
The judge said that the ruling did not provide a definitive legal conclusion as to whether Gottwald sexually assaulted Kesha, as a jury would decide that in a separate trial.
Schecter said that the We R Who We R performer’s legal team’s argument that Gottwald is a public figure did not hold water, as ‘he never injected himself into the public debate about sexual assault or abuse of artists in the entertainment industry.’
Schecter said that ‘the only reason Gottwald has any public connection to the issues raised in this lawsuit is because they were raised in this lawsuit.’
The Tik Tok singer also was ordered by the judge to pay Gottwald’s KMI company $374,000 in late royalties.
Gottwald’s lawyer Christine Lepera told Rolling Stone that ‘Kesha abandoned her meritless case against Dr. Luke more than three years ago’ and that ‘the only remaining lawsuit is Dr. Luke’s case against Kesha for defamation and breach of contract.’
Lepera added Gottwald went after Kesha legally ‘to seek recovery’ amid the damage ‘Kesha’s false accusations of rape’ caused him in his personal and business life.
‘Today’s important decision by the Court in Dr. Luke’s lawsuit brings him closer to the justice that he seeks,’ Lepera said. ‘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.’
Gottwald’s lawyer said he ‘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.’
Kesha’s legal team told the musical outlet that they ‘disagree with the Court’s rulings’ and ‘plan to immediately appeal.’