Trigger warning: This story mentions sexual assault and abuse.
Kesha has been in a legal battle with music producer Lukasz Gottwald, also known in the industry as Dr. Luke, for six years now. As Kesha was given disappointing rulings in her court cases against the producer, whom she accused of sexual abuse, the only remaining pending lawsuit has been Gottwald’s defamation case against Kesha. And on Thursday, a judge ruled in his favor.
As reported by USA Today, the court that ruled in favor of Gottwald’s defamation claims also ordered Kesha to pay $373,671.88 to the producer’s company KMI due to late royalty payments.
Kesha’s legal team, however, isn’t planning to stand down.
In a statement provided to USA Today, the team made clear their intentions to keep fighting and appeal the court’s rulings.
“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,” the statement read.
Dr. Luke’s defamation case centers around a text message Kesha sent to Lady Gaga claiming that Gottwald had drugged and raped her and that he had also raped Katy Perry, as reported by Rolling Stone. Perry later denied the allegation in court, which Gottwald used to help build his defamation case. New York Supreme Court Judge Jennifer G. Schecter ruled that the text message was defamation, also rejecting Kesha’s push to identify the producer as a “public figure,” which would have made the defamation claims more difficult to prove.
However, as reported by BBC, the judge explained that she was not ruling on the question of whether or not Kesha was assaulted by Gottwald, saying that a jury would have to decide on that.
Kesha first filed a lawsuit against Gottwald in 2014, accusing him of sexual, physical, and verbal abuse. In 2016, after a series of disappointing court rulings, in which the singer was denied her request to record outside her contract with Gottwald and all her other claims against him were dismissed, she dropped all her charges.
We believe and stand with Kesha and all survivors of sexual and emotional abuse in the ongoing fight for justice.
If you are a sexual assault survivor and need help, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to speak to a trained counselor. You can also chat online with a counselor here. Both services are available 24/7.