Court Rejects Kesha's Latest Attempt to Exit Dr. Luke Contract
The producer is also seeking $50 million in his defamation suit against the singer
Published May 29, 2018Kesha's ongoing legal battle with producer Lukasz Gottwald (a.k.a. Dr. Luke) has suffered another setback, with a New York appeals court ruling today to uphold the 2017 denial of the pop star's attempt to exit her contract with the producer. What's more, the producer is seeking $50 million USD in his defamation suit against the singer.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Kesha's countersuit against the producer was rejected in March of last year. At that point, New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich agreed with Gottwald's lawyers that the singer should have provided notice of alleged contract breaches, while also ruling that her allegation of the impossibility of her performing under the deals was based on speculation.
An argument for Kornreich's decision could be supported by Kesha's release of full-length Rainbow in August of last year. She's also set to head out on tour alongside Macklemore this summer. However, the decision made today upholds the previous 2017 outcome that denied Kesha's attempt to get out of her contract with Dr. Luke.
"Kesha's proposed amendments are palpably insufficient and devoid of merit," today's decision reads. "Her counterclaim seeking declaratory relief terminating the agreements on the ground of impossibility and impracticability of performance was speculative, contradicted by her own allegations that she had continued performing under the agreements and, as to at least one of the agreements, the impossibility was not produced by an unanticipated event that could not have been foreseen or guarded against."
The decision also orders Kesha "to produce documents" of "communications between her counsel and press agents," as they "do not reflect a discussion of legal strategy relevant to the pending litigation but, rather, a discussion of a public relations strategy, and are not protected under the attorney-client privilege."
You can read today's decision in its entirety here.
Beyond that, The Blast reports that Dr. Luke has filed new court documents in his defamation case against Kesha, demanding $50 million USD in damages. In his claim, the producer states he has already lost work with Katy Perry. She released Witness last year, and it was her first album made without the producer.
UPDATE (5/31, 11:12 a.m. EDT): Dr. Luke's lawyers have issued the following statement:
Kesha's false accusations have caused tremendous damage to Dr. Luke, his family and his businesses. Kesha's recent court filing misstates and misrepresents an expert accountant's calculations of certain revenue that Mr. Gottwald has lost as a result of Kesha's false accusations. The ultimate amount of Dr. Luke's damages is for a jury to decide.