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Kesher Court Ordered to Pay $373,000 to Ex-Producer, Dr. Luke, For Defamation

Gettyimages | Tommaso Boddi
By Zachary Holt

The ongoing battle in court between the pop sensation, Kesha, and her ex-producer, Dr. Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, has prompted Kesha to pay her former business partner $373,000 for defamation.

The situation is quite odd and involves a couple of other pop singers including Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, all in some way, being tied to a text message that Kesha sent insinuating that Gottwald had raped Perry, which was ultimately denied. So what's going on here?

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Kesha Texted Lady Gaga That Gottwald Raped Katy Perry in 2016

Gettyimages | Michael Kovac

Well, according to Entertainment Tonight, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter ruled that Kesha defamed Gottwald when she texted Lady Gaga in 2016 that he had raped Perry. During a 2017 deposition, Perry claimed that she was never raped by Gottwald, thus providing evidence for the defamation.

"There is no evidence whatsoever that [Gottwald] raped Katy Perry. Moreover, publication of a false statement to even one person, here Lady Gaga, is sufficient to impose liability," Justice Schecter said after providing her ruling in the case.

Justice Rules That Sexual Assault Never Occurred, Kesha Used Defamation

Gettyimages | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

Kesha's team developed quite a number of defenses that would prevent a ruling of defamation, including that Gottwald was a public figure, which would have required her ex-producer's lawyers to prove that the singer acted with 'malice'. However, the judge dismissed this claim, citing that Gottwald was, in fact, not a public figure.

The payment that Kesha has been ordered to pay resulted from interest on royalty payments accumulated, which she withheld from Gottwald's production company, KMI. Her decision to withhold payments to Gottwald was a breach of contract, on an agreement established between the two parties.

Kesha and Gottwald's Legal Representation Issue Statements on Court's Ruling

Gettyimages | Kevin Winter

Obviously, Kesha's legal representation was not content with the Justice's ruling and stated that they will immediately appeal the decision. "Judge Schecter issued rulings today on motions for summary judgment in the Dr. Luke litigation," her counsel stated. "We disagree with the Court's rulings. We plan to immediately appeal."

On the other hand, Gottwald's attorneys and legal counsel made a statement of their own. "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," they shared.

Gottwald's Lawyers: Court Ruling Mitigates Defamation, Recovers Unpaid Interest From Royalties

Gettyimages | Roy Rochlin

For Gottwald and his lawyers, it's not only a step in the right direction at mitigating the damage done by the defamation, but also for recovering the payments that were illegally withheld from KMI and himself.

"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," the statement continued. "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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