The singer had claimed that the producer had raped Katy Perry
A judge has ruled that Kesha defamed Dr. Luke when she sent a text to Lady Gaga claiming that he raped Katy Perry. The 32-year-old singer was ordered by Judge Jennifer G. Schecter at New York’s Supreme Court to pay the producer $374,000 in late royalty fees on Thursday (February 7), Pitchfork reports.
Kesha and Dr. Luke’s ongoing legal battle behan when Kesha sued the producer in 2014, claiming that he sexually assaulted and emotionally abused her. She also accused him of assaulting Katy Perry, which Perry later denied in a deposition.
In her ruling, Schecter said that Perry’s testimony combined with a lack of evidence led her to conclude that Kesha had defamed Dr. Luke. “Perry unequivocally testified that Gottwald did not (rape here),” Schecter said. “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.”
“Publication of a false statement to even one person, here Lady Gaga, is sufficient to impose liability,” the judge wrote.
Schecter added, however, that the ruling did not provide a definitive answer as to whether Dr. Luke had sexually assaulted Kesha – something that will be determined by a jury in a separate trial.
Dr, Luke’s lawyer, Christine Lepera, said in a statement, “Kesha abandoned her meritless case against Dr. Luke more than three years ago. 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. Today’s important decision by the Court in Dr. Luke’s lawsuit brings him closer to the justice that he seeks.”
Kesha’s legal team promised to appeal the decision. “Judge Schecter issued rulings today on motions for summary judgment in the Dr. Luke litigation,” Kesha’s lawyers said in a statement. “We disagree with the Court’s rulings. We plan to immediately appeal.”