It’s been nearly a week since Kesha’s new album, High Road, dropped. The “Praying” singer is already back in the headlines. In 2014, Kesha Rose Sebert sued producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald for sexual assault. In return, Gottwalkd sued Kesha for defamation. Here’s how the judge ruled, what fans are saying about the case, and why they’re demanding pop singer, Katy Perry, speak up.
The 2014 lawsuit came before the #MeToo movement
Kesha performs live on stage at the iHeartRadio Album Release Party with Kesha at iHeartRadio Theater | Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for iHeartMediaKesha’s 2014 legal battle made waves. Before the #MeToo movement encouraged others to speak out against similar experiences, Kesha spoke out. Her accusations stem back to an October 2005 nightclub party. Kesha alleged that the producer gave her a “date-rape drug,” causing her to fall violently ill.
After she was kicked out, Gottwald took Kesha to his hotel room where, as Kesha alleged, he raped her. She could not remember the details; only the after-effects.
Kesha also alleged that Gottwald was verbally abusive and that he cut down her weight and appearance. She said this led to an eating disorder and into a treatment program.
Gottwald denied all claims. His defamation suit puts Kesha back in the spotlight as Gottwald sued the singer for false rape accusations and a “sham” lawsuit to get out of her recording contracts.
Where does Katy Perry fit in all of this?
In Gottwald’s suit, the defamation comes from a text sent from Kesha to Lady Gaga. The message accused Gottwald of raping pop singer, Katy Perry.
New York Supreme Court Judge Jennifer G. Schechter said of the case that Gottwald “submitted evidence that [he] did not rape Katy Perry.”
She continued, per the Washington Post: “Many facts related to the events of October 5 and 6, 2005, are disputed. The court does not know what transpired between the parties and is not tasked with fact-finding. That is solely the job of the jury.”
To make matters more complicated, Schecter said Perry “unequivocally testified that Gottwald did not do so,” alluding to the fact that Kesha’s allegations are false.
“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. Kesha cannot defeat summary judgment with mere speculation,” she said.
With the added claims, the judge’s 32-page ruling also included notes about Kesha’s breach of contract, rejecting Kesha’s claim that she was “fraudulently induced into it based on Dr. Luke’s promise to renegotiate.”
Here’s how the judge ruled, and what fans are saying
On Feb. 6, Gottwald won his case of defamation against Kesha. The Judge ruled that the “Tik-Tok” singer did, in fact, defame Gottwalk with that text message to Lady Gaga.
“Though Gottwald has sought publicity for his label, his music, and his artists — none of which are the subject of the defamation here — he never injected himself into the public debate about sexual assault or abuse of artists in the entertainment industry,” the judge said.
“The only reason Gottwald has any public connection to the issues raised in this lawsuit is because they were raised in this lawsuit.”
Those statements mean Gottwald’s attorneys are immune from having to claim “malice” on Kesha’s behalf, likely making it easier to score a victory.
Schecter also ordered Kesha to pay $374,000 in interest from royalty payments from that breach of contract allegation.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kesha’s legal team plan to appeal saying, “We disagree with the Court’s rulings. We plan to immediately appeal.”
Kesha’s fans have her back
Kesha’s fans are rallying on behalf of the singer.
“Katy Perry needs to step tf up,” one fan tweeted, later clarifying that Perry should step up to set the record straight — not lie if it didn’t happen. “Where is Katy Perry. She was named into the texts too,” another said. “The justice system is failing her,” this fan said in support.
Others stand in solidarity. “Unfortunately Dr. Luke has won his defamation lawsuit against Kesha. We are all sending our love to her while she’s going through this difficult time. No survivor of sexual assault should ever have to pay anything to the person who abused them,” this fan tweeted.
The #FreeKesha hashtag is alive and well, with many in the singer’s corner. This case is far from over and, as many said, justice will prevail in the end.
How to get help: In the U.S., call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.