The ongoing lawsuit between the singer Kesha and producer Dr. Luke took a drastic turn this week (January 30th) after it emerged that the producer had added a defamation claim to his suit against the the singer.
Kesha and Dr. Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, have been embroiled in a complicated and difficult lawsuit, which has seen the “Tik Tok” singer accuse Gottwald of sexual assault (charges she later dropped), while also hoping to freed from her recording contract, which stipulates that the singer must release music through Gottwald’s Kemosabe Records, a subsidiary of Sony Music.
While Kesha announced last year that she would focus her efforts on being released from her contract — in February of last year, a judge in New York denied Kesha’s request to be freed from the contract — and that she was indeed working on new music, E! News reports that both Gottwald and Kesha have asked to have individual countersuits amended.
According to new court filings, Gottwald has requested that a defamation suit also be added over an alleged text message sent to the singer Lady Gaga where Kesha accused the producer of raping her and another fellow female singer. While the text message doesn’t specifically name the producer, Gottwald claims that this message caused Lady Gaga to further ruin his reputation in the media.
“During this text message conversation, Kesha falsely and baselessly asserted that Kesha and another female recording artist (the “Other Recording Artist”) had both been raped by Gottwald,” the document reads. “Specifically, Kesha told Lady Gaga that ‘she [i.e., the Other Recording Artist] was raped by the same man’ as Kesha. The ‘man’ to whom Kesha referred was Gottwald—as the surrounding context of the text message makes clear.”
Representatives for Gottwald go on to say that these allegations are false, and that Kesha sent the message to “further [damage the Plaintiffs’] reputation and business. Kesha did not stand to make any more money or obtain better business terms as a result of them.”
The document also points out that Kesha, along with her mother Pebe Sebert, have set out on a campaign to destroy Dr. Luke’s reputation, with the text message accounting as supposed evidence of this “vicious campaign.”
In response to Gottwald’s amendments, Kesha added her own new arguments.
Like Gottwald, Kesha’s new amendment claims that the producer’s aims are malicious towards her, stating that “is not about money or business. It is a vendetta against Kesha.”
“You can get a divorce from an abusive spouse. You can dissolve a partnership if the relationship becomes irreconcilable,” the documents read. “The same opportunity—to be liberated from the physical, emotional, and financial bondage of a destructive relationship—should be available to a recording artist.”
Continuing, the countersuit states that while Kesha was told that she could work on music without her alleged abuser, the work that she has done has been ignored, adding further proof that Gottwald plans to hold Kesha in musical purgatory with her contract.
Furthermore, the document details that Gottwald has withheld royalties from Kesha, stating that it wasn’t until the singer threatened further action that he released the funds, two years after they were reportedly due. Similarly, the countersuit states that Gottwald’s aim is to leave Kesha penniless.
“To be clear, Kesha does not seek the renegotiation of contractual terms,” her lawyers write. “She is not demanding more money. Kesha asks for something far more basic: the freedom to make music without being bound indefinitely to the very producer who subjected her to years of abuse and continues that abuse to this day. Dr. Luke seeks tens of millions of dollars in punitive damages from Kesha and her mother. If successful, Kesha and her mother would be penniless.”
We can’t imagine how tough and difficult this time must be for Kesha. While Billboard reports that a judge had hoped to broker a deal between the two parties, it appears that things are only becoming more complicated.
It appears that the next step in the case are to be depositions, where both Kesha and Gottwald will give testimony under oath.
We’re sending Kesha all our positive thoughts.