Kesha Just Scored a Small Victory in Her Legal Battle With Dr. Luke
Newly passed anti-SLAPP laws swooped in to change the game.
Warning: This story mentions sexual assault and abuse.
On Wednesday, June 30th, New York Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter ruled that Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald must prove “actual malice” on Kesha’s part to continue to go forward with the already seven-year-long defamation lawsuit against the singer. Justice Schecter also ruled that Kesha will be allowed to seek compensatory and punitive damages and attorney’s fees and costs, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The decision comes after Kesha’s team asserted a new counterclaim, citing a recently passed New York anti-SLAPP law, that being a law to stop “strategic lawsuits against public participation” intended to censor or intimidate a defendant. The judge concluded that this law could retroactively apply to this case, meaning Dr. Luke will have to prove that Kesha recklessly disregarded the truth when she made her 2014 claim that the music producer drugged and raped her.
“At trial, Dr. Luke will prove to the jury, as he has always maintained, that Kesha spread a vicious lie to get out of her contracts,” Dr. Luke’s attorneys said in a statement, per THR. “Kesha refuses to make any claim against Luke that she had would have the burden of proof on—because she knows she would lose and that she is lying.”
Last year, Justice Schecter ruled in Dr. Luke’s favor that Kesha did defame him when she wrote in a text message to Lady Gaga that Dr. Luke had allegedly raped Katy Perry. Perry later denied this in court, thus bolstering Dr. Luke’s defamation case. Kesha was ordered to pay $373,000 in interest on a $1.3 million late royalty payment to Dr. Luke’s company KMI.
But the battle is not yet over. The ball is now in Dr. Luke’s court to provide evidence to prove his innocence in the rape claim as well as prove Kesha knowingly lied in her text to Lady Gaga. We’ll keep you up to date as the lawsuit continues to unfold.