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Judge rules Kesha defamed Dr Luke by claiming he raped Katy Perry

Supreme court judge also orders Kesha to pay music producer $374,000 in late royalty fees

A New York supreme court judge has ruled that Kesha defamed her former producer and label head Dr Luke – whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald – when she claimed, in a text to Lady Gaga, that he had raped Katy Perry.

Judge Jennifer G Schechter was ruling on issues of defamation and breach-of-contract action, and said: “Perry unequivocally testified that Gottwald did not [rape her]. 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 (born Kesha Rose Sebert), was also ordered to pay Gottwald’s company $374,000 (£289,000) related to late royalty fees.

The judge’s 32-page decision is published online here.

In 2014, Kesha sued Gottwald claiming sexual assault and emotional abuse. Gottwald denied the claims and filed an ongoing countersuit alleging defamation and breach of contract. Kesha’s case was dismissed in 2016.

Schechter said the latest ruling did not provide a definitive answer as to whether Gottwald had sexually assaulted Kesha, which will be determined by a jury in a separate trial.

In a statement, Gottwald’s lawyer Christine Lepera said: “Today’s important decision by the court in Dr Luke’s lawsuit brings him closer to the justice that he seeks … 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.”

Variety has reported that Kesha’s legal team will appeal this latest decision. The Guardian has contacted representatives for Kesha for comment.

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