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Kesha and Dr. Luke settle defamation lawsuit over sexual assault allegations

The pop star’s former producer initially won the suit in 2020, but an appeals court ruled in her favor earlier this month.
/ Source: NBC News

Singer Kesha and her former producer, Dr. Luke, issued joint statements Thursday announcing a settlement in the defamation suit he filed against her over her allegation that he raped her.

Kesha filed suit against him in 2014 in Los Angeles and New York, alleging that he drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2005, as well as physically and verbally tormented her for a decade.

Dr. Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, then sued her for defamation. He accused her of fabricating allegations she was raped in order to get out of her recording contract.

Kesha’s New York lawsuit was dismissed in April 2016 for jurisdiction and statute of limitation issues. Months later, her attorney told Rolling Stone that the California suit was dropped in the hopes that Kesha could return to making music.

Gottwald, who has not been charged with a crime, has denied all of Kesha’s allegations. He won his civil case in 2020, with a judge ruling that she did defame him in her court filings, on social media and in a private message sent to singer Lady Gaga.

But Kesha appealed the verdict and earlier this month the New York Court of Appeals ruled in her favor. The court’s opinion stated that Gottwald is a public figure, and that he must meet a higher burden of proof that Kesha acted with “actual malice” when making her statements.

The ruling also said that Kesha should have been allowed to file a counterclaim.

Kesha posted the joint statements from her and Gottwald on her verified Instagram account Thursday. Her portion of the statement said that she wished “nothing but peace to all parties involved.

“Only God knows what happened that night, as I have always said,” her statement said. “I cannot recount everything that happened. I am looking forward to closing the door on this chapter of my life and beginning a new one.”

Gottwald reiterated his denial of Kesha’s allegations, stating that he has “vigorously fought” to clear his name and wished to move on.

“While I appreciate Kesha again acknowledging she cannot recount what happened that night in 2005, I am absolutely certain that nothing happened,” he said. “I never drugged or assaulted her and would never do that to anyone.”

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