Kesha and Dr. Luke settle defamation lawsuit over rape allegations

Written by on June 23, 2023

Kesha, Dr. Luke Settle Defamation Lawsuit: Read Their Statements – Billboard

(Yahoo) – Kesha Sebert and her former producer Dr. Luke (Lukasz Gottwald) have been in a contentious bicoastal legal battle for nearly a decade — but they’ve reached an agreement less than a month before it was set for trial.

The settlement ends a legal fight that began in October 2014 with dueling lawsuits; Sebert alleged she was drugged and sexually assaulted and wanted out of her recording agreement, while Gottwald maintained the accusation was false and sued for defamation and breach of contract.

Kesha on Thursday posted both of their statements on her verified Instagram account. Hers reads: “Only God knows what happened that night. As I have always said, I cannot recount everything that happened. I am looking forward to closing the door on this chapter of my life and beginning a new one. I wish nothing but peace to all parties involved.”

Dr. Luke’s statement says: “While I appreciate Kesha again acknowledging that she cannot recount what happened that night in 2005, I am absolutely certain that nothing happened. I never drugged or assaulted her and would never do that to anyone. For the sake of my family, I have vigorously fought to clear my name for nearly 10 years. It is time for me to put this difficult matter behind me and move on with my life. I wish Kesha well.”

As part of their deal, the terms of which have not been made public, each of them is posting both statements.

For nearly nine years they were engaged in heated, closely-watched litigation. At this point, after claims were dropped or tossed by the court along the way, Gottwald’s defamation claim was headed to trial in New York. The keystone of that dispute was whether or not the producer is considered a public figure, which would set a higher bar for succeeding on a defamation claim. Earlier this month, the New York Court of Appeals reversed an earlier ruling that had found Gottwald wasn’t a public figure, at least in the legal context. With that decision no longer standing, Gottwald would have had to prove that Sebert acted with actual malice — either knowing something was false or saying it with reckless disregard for the truth — when she stated that he sexually assaulted her.

Sebert is represented by Daniel Petrocelli and Leah Godesky of O’Melveny and Gottwald is represented by Christine Lepera of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp.

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