September 28, 2023

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Kesha & Dr. Luke Settle Defamation Lawsuit Over Her 2014 Rape Accusation

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Kesha & Dr. Luke Settle Defamation Lawsuit Over Her 2014 Rape Accusation

Kesha and Dr. Luke have reached a settlement to end his long-running lawsuit accusing the pop star of defaming him by accusing him of rape, just a week after a New York court issued a key ruling that would have made it harder for Dr. Luke to win the case.


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Reached just weeks before the case had been set to go to trial, the agreement will resolve nearly a decade of litigation between the two former creative partners. The producer claimed Kesha legally defamed him in 2014 when she made a “false and shocking” allegation: that he allegedly drugged and raped her after a 2005 party.

In a joint press release on social media featuring statements from both sides, Kesha said that “only god knows what happened that night.”

“As I have always said, I cannot recount everything that happened,” the star wrote. “I am looking forward to closing the door on this chapter of my life and beginning a new one. I wish nothing but peace to all parties involved.”

In his own statement, Dr. Luke said he was “absolutely certain that nothing happened” that night in 2005: “I never drugged or assaulted her and would never do that to anyone. For the sake of my family, I have vigorously fought to clear my name for nearly 10 years. It is time for me to put this difficult matter behind me and move on with my life. I wish Kesha well.”

The abrupt settlement came just 10 days after New York’s top appeals court handed a key victory to Kesha in the case. The court ruled that Dr. Luke was a “public figure,” a finding that would make his case far harder to prove; it also said that Kesha could recoup her legal bills if she ultimately won.

Dr. Luke, whose full name is Lukasz Gottwald, filed his lawsuit against Kesha in 2014, claiming she had legally defamed him with a “false and shocking” allegation that he drugged and raped her after a 2005 party. He claimed she did so as leverage to secure a more lucrative deal. Kesha long denied those accusations, arguing that the defamation case was an effort to silence the voice of a victim.

The pair spent years in bitter litigation over those claims, with numerous procedural delays and appeals slowing down the process. But after more than eight years of litigation, a trial in Dr. Luke’s lawsuit had finally been scheduled to start on July 19.

Beyond Thursday’s statements, no details about the settlement were immediately released by the parties or made available in public court records.

Read Kesha and Dr. Luke’s statements below:

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