Court rules that Kesha cannot seek legal fees from Dr. Luke in defamation battle

An appeals court has ruled that Kesha can’t recoup her legal fees from Dr. Luke if she wins the defamation lawsuit he brought against her.

The legal battle between the Tik Tok singer and music producer has been ongoing since October 2014, when she filed a lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault, harassment and emotional abuse, among other claims. He responded by suing her for defamation, and the latest step in that legal action was ruled on Thursday.

According to Page Six, an appellate court ruled that she won’t be able to claw back her legal fees from Dr. Luke, real name Lukasz Gottwald, if she emerges successful in the lawsuit.

In a ruling last year, the singer was allowed to apply New York’s newly strengthened free speech law to seek the cost of her legal fees from Dr. Luke if he loses his case. The producer appealed that ruling and the appeals court decided on Thursday that when the law was amended in 2020 it was not specified that it could be applied retroactively, and therefore, the pop star couldn’t use it.

Kesha’s lawyers told the publication that they intend to appeal the verdict, saying, “Today’s opinion is manifestly erroneous and contrary to the conclusion reached by approximately 20 other courts. We will promptly seek Court of Appeals review.”

The 35-year-old’s abuse claims against Dr. Luke were either dismissed or dropped in 2016. Her efforts to be released from her contract with Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records were also unsuccessful and she remains signed to his label.


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