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Kesha defamed her producer in a text to Lady Gaga where she said he had raped Katy Perry, a judge ruled on Feb. 6.
Kesha’s producer, Lukasz Gottwald (better known as Dr. Luke), sued the singer for defamation after she filed a lawsuit against him in 2014 claiming he had drugged and raped her.
In February 2016, Kesha texted Gaga that she’d heard Perry “was raped by the same man” and that she was “really upset” with her for not coming forward, according to documents acquired by celebrity magazine US Weekly.
In her court deposition, however, Perry denied these claims.
“They think I was raped but I was not,” she testified, according to the magazine.
Jennifer Schecter, the New York Supreme Court judge presiding over this portion of the trial, ruled in favor of Gottwald.
“There is no evidence whatsoever that Gottwald raped Katy Perry or that Katy Perry, whose sworn testimony is unrefuted, must not be believed,” her ruling reads. “…Moreover, publication of a false statement to even one person, here Lady Gaga, is sufficient to impose liability.”
This was only a partial summary judgment meant to limit the scope of the case. Schecter did not rule on whether Gottwald had sexually assaulted Kesha.
“The court does not know what transpired between the parties and is not tasked with fact finding,” Schecter wrote. “That is solely the job of the jury.”
Kesha dropped her suit accusing the producer of abuse in 2016, New York Magazine reports. Gottwald, however, has continued to pursue his defamation case.
In addition to defamation, he also charged Kesha with a breach of contract with his record label, Kasz Money, Inc. Schecter ruled that Kesha had withheld a $1.3 million royalty payment “well beyond the deadlines set forth in the parties’ contract” and ordered her to pay the company $373,671.88 in interest.
Gottwald’s lawyers see Thursday’s rulings as a sweeping success.
“Today’s important decision by the Court in Dr. Luke’s lawsuit brings him closer to the justice that he seeks,” they said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “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 team begs to differ, though.
“We disagree with the Court’s rulings,” they told the magazine. “We plan to immediately appeal.”
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