Dr. Luke sues Kesha for defamation after sex abuse claims

The producer has filed a defamation suit after his onetime collaborator Kesha sued him over claims of sexual abuse.
The producer has filed a defamation suit after his onetime collaborator Kesha sued him over claims of sexual abuse.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
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Days after the pop singer Kesha sued her longtime collaborator Dr. Luke over claims of sex crimes and other abuse, the producer has replied with a lawsuit of his own.

The producer, born Lukasz Gottwald, filed suit in New York Supreme Court claiming that Kesha’s allegations of forced drug use and sexual assault are “a spectacular and outrageous fiction that will go down in flames,” according to a statement from his attorney Christine Lepera.

The suit names Kesha, her mother, Pebe Sebert, and the singer’s representatives at Vector Management. In the complaint, Dr. Luke alleges that Kesha’s allegations are part of an extortion attempt to end her recording contract.


According to the statement, excerpts of which were first quoted in Billboard, “As part of the effort to get out of the Gottwald Recording Agreement, Kesha and Pebe have also orchestrated a campaign of publishing false and shocking accusations against Gottwald to extort Plaintiffs into letting Kesha out of the Gottwald Recording Agreement.” The suit also includes breach of contract complaints from Dr. Luke.

In response to Dr. Luke’s suit, Kesha’s attorney Mark Geragos told Billboard that “It’s a despicable thing of what he is doing...It reminds me of Ray Rice threatening to sue his wife for ruining his career. (Dr. Luke) thinks that because he has got more money than he knows what to do, he can do whatever he wants. Our complaint is accurate and supported by evidence and witnesses.”

Lepera’s full statement on behalf of Dr. Luke is re-printed below.

“Kesha’s lawsuit is a spectacular and outrageous fiction that will go down in flames. As the truth emerges, this sad and misguided smear campaign will only hurt Kesha.

This is hardly the first time that Kesha and her mother have threatened Luke with an extortionist scheme to ruin his reputation publicly unless he let her out of her contract. She did the same thing years ago.

Mr. Geragos on his press tour this week acknowledged that his client’s real goal is to get out of her contract, rather than vindicate these absurd and defamatory allegations. Luke hasn’t seen Kesha in years. This kind of cynical grandstanding in which false claims of abuse are used as a negotiating tactic insults real victims.

Extortion is not going to win here. We are confident the courts will decide that. Kesha’s current claims are absolutely false, chief among them the preposterous accusation that Luke date raped Kesha when she was 18. The court will have more than Luke’s word for this when the record in another action is revealed and Kesha is confronted with evidence of her own current lie.


The lawsuit that we filed is not in retaliation, as the other side well knows. We challenge Mr. Geragos to open confidentiality of that prior record. We further challenge him to waive the litigation privilege in connection with his lawsuit — so both Kesha and Mr. Geragos can confront the full spectrum of a defamation suit not cloaked in a litigation privilege. Mr. Geragos should stop hiding behind the litigation privilege he is exploiting solely to smear Luke.

We have been holding the lawsuit we filed in abeyance while settlement talks proceeded over the last year based on Kesha’s and her mother’s new threats to get out of the contract. Our lawsuit is based upon the most recent extortion scheme against Luke – which started over a year ago, both verbally and in writing.

As an example, in one email dated October 29, 2013, Kesha’s mother, wrote, ‘Tomorrow I am going to start making public how Dr. Luke blackmailed me into giving him and Circuit publishing credit, on all songs I wrote on warrior, with Kesha and other writers and producers…“We, me and kesha and her friends…are going to make all of this Really PUBLIC, in the next few days. Luke date raped Kesha when she was 18. Nicky Hilton’s birthday? Paris Hiltons house? Luke gave Kesha pills? She ended up naked in his hotel room 2 days later, no longer a virgin? Do we want all this to come out? either this Luke releases Kesha from all legal contracts, and gives me back all my publishing, or we, Kesha and I. tell the truth. And if I wind up dead, TRUST ME, IT’S IN WRITING TO CALL YOU AND LUKE.’

Finally, we believe that as shameful as these attacks are they will come to haunt and hurt Kesha most as the truth about her own conduct is revealed. As anyone who has followed their behavior knows, the bizarre public statements and actions by Kesha and her mother over the years are too numerous to count.”

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