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Kesha Ordered To Pay Over $373K In Dr. Luke Defamation Lawsuit Involving Katy Perry & Lady Gaga

Inset of Lady Gaga, Inset of Katy Perry, Dr. Luke Wearing Black T-shirt and Blazer, Kesha With Dark Hair Wearing Blablack Blazer Looking Left, Kesha Ordered To Pay Over $373K In Dr. Luke Defamation Lawsuit
Source: MEGA (2); Shutterstock (2)

Feb. 7 2020, Updated 5:24 p.m. ET

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Kesha has suffered a setback in her ongoing legal battle with Dr. Luke.

A judge ordered the “Warrior” singer, 32, to pay the music producer — whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald — more than $373,000 as part of his defamation lawsuit, according to court documents obtained by RadarOnline.com.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter ruled that Kesha defamed Dr. Luke, 46, when she sent a text message to Lady Gaga in 2016 claiming that he raped Katy Perry.

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In a 2017 deposition, Perry, 35, denied Dr. Luke ever sexually assaulted her. Due to this, the judge ruled that Kesha “made a false statement to Lady Gaga about Gottwald that was defamatory per se.”

“There is no evidence whatsoever that Dr. Luke raped Katy Perry. Moreover, publication of a false statement to even one person, here Lady Gaga, is sufficient to impose liability,” Judge Schecter ruled.

Gaga, 33, on her part, is still standing by Kesha.

Though Kesha’s team argued that the standard for defamation is higher when dealing with a public figure and Dr. Luke’s team could not prove Kesha acted with “malice,” the judge dismissed the defense.

Judge Schecter said Dr. Luke “certainly is not a 'general public figure'” outside of the music industry, and “has never been a household name or achieved general pervasive fame and notoriety in the community.” Therefore, the “actual malice standard is inapplicable,” the judge concluded.

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“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,” Dr. Luke’s legal team said in a statement to ET following the ruling. “Today's important decision by the Court in Dr. Luke's lawsuit brings him closer to the justice that he seeks.”

“First, the Court has now ruled that Kesha made a false and defamatory accusation about Dr. Luke when she baselessly claimed that he raped Katy Perry. Second, the Court rejected Kesha's attempts to invoke legal technicalities to avoid responsibility for her statements. And third, the Court also correctly held that Kesha breached her contract with Dr. Luke's company,” the statement continued. “Dr. Luke looks forward to the trial of his case where he will prove that Kesha's other false statements about him were equally false and defamatory.”

Kesha's legal team released their own statement to Variety. “We disagree with the Court’s rulings. We plan to immediately appeal,” it read.

As Radar readers know, Kesha’s legal war with Dr. Luke began back in October 2014, when she accused him of drugging her, raping her and abusing her over the course of 10 years. Dr. Luke vehemently denied the singer’s claims, saying that he never had sex with her. Kesha eventually dropped her lawsuit against him in California but kept another against him in New York.

The defamation lawsuit will now move to trial, where a jury will determine if Kesha's initial allegations that she was drugged and raped by Dr. Luke were made “in good faith,” or if they were made in an effort to hurt Dr. Luke’s career by defaming him.

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