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Kesha Ordered To Pay Over $300K After Judge Rules She Defamed Dr. Luke With Katy Perry Rape Allegation

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By Jeff Mazzeo

Dr. Luke scored a huge victory in his long legal battle with Kesha stemming from his 2014 lawsuit where he sued her for defamation. The producer claimed that she made up rape allegations to get out of her contract.

A judge ruled on Thursday that the pop star defamed the producer by claiming he raped Katy Perry in a text message to Lady Gaga. In addition, Kesha is forced to pay $373,671.88 in interest from a 2017 royalty payment.

It was also determined that Dr. Luke, real name Lukasz Gottwald, is not a public figure which was one of Kesha's defenses in the case.

“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,” said New York Supreme Court Judge Jennifer G. Schechter in the ruling.

“The only reason Gottwald has any public connection to the issues raised in this lawsuit is because they were raised in this lawsuit,” the judge's ruling continued. “That cannot convert him into a limited public figure.”

What that means is that Dr. Luke's attorneys will not have to prove "actual malice" on Kesha's part which drastically improves Luke's chances of winning the case outright.

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Judge Ruled That Dr. Luke Is Not A Public Figure

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The ruling continued to outline that since Dr. Luke is an average citizen, Kesha's allegations were not protected by the law.

“Because Gottwald is not a public figure for purposes of determining the constitutional protection afforded to statements by Kesha that he drugged, raped and sexually assaulted her, the actual malice standard is inapplicable,” the judge's ruling stated.

Furthermore, the judge said that Katy Perry's testimony that Dr. Luke did not rape her is credible.

“Perry unequivocally testified that Gottwald did not [rape her]. In response, Kesha has not raised a triable issue. There is no evidence whatsoever that Gottwald raped Katy Perry, or that Katy Perry, whose sworn testimony is unrefuted, must not be believed.”

Forced To Fork Over Cash

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The ruling hit twice as hard because the "Tik Tok" singer was ordered to pay $373,671.88 in interest on a $1.3 million royalty payment she made to Dr. Luke’s company in August 2017. The ruling stated that the payment was “well beyond the deadlines set forth in the parties’ contract.” The judge pointed out that Kesha or her legal team did not argue over the contract.

“Kesha does not dispute the terms of the contract or the calculation of the interest,” the ruling said.

Her legal team issued a statement to PEOPLE that said, “Judge Schecter issued rulings today on motions for summary judgment in the Dr. Luke litigation. We disagree with the Court’s rulings. We plan to immediately appeal.”

Dr. Luke's team also issued a response to the news outlet. “Kesha abandoned her meritless case against Dr. Luke more than three years ago,” the statement said. “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.”

Dr. Luke Is 'Closer To The Justice That He Seeks'

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“Today’s important decision by the Court in Dr. Luke’s lawsuit brings him closer to the justice that he seeks,” his legal counsel said in their statement to PEOPLE. “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.”

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