Kesha Suffers Another Defeat In Dr. Luke Defamation Case

Kesha Suffers Another Defeat In Dr. Luke Defamation Case

Kesha is facing another setback in Dr. Luke’s long-running defamation lawsuit against her, after a New York court ruled that the pop star cannot show jurors handwritten notes from 2006 that her attorneys have called “critical evidence” to her defense.

Kesha’s attorneys say the notes, penned by one of her former attorneys, provide key evidence that she did not fabricate a story that Dr. Luke drugged her after a party – the central claim of his defamation lawsuit. But a judge ruled in October that she waited far too long to introduce them into evidence.

On Thursday (April 14), a New York state appeals court affirmed that ruling, ruling it would be unfair to Dr. Luke to allow Kesha not cite a document that she never introduced during “four years of extensive discovery” and brought forth two years after the deadline to do so.

The new setback for Kesha came a month after the same court ruled Dr. Luke’s case wasn’t covered by New York’s new free speech statute, which would have made it much harder for him to win his case. A trial is currently set for early next year, but could be pushed back by further appeals.

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.

Years into the case, Kesha’s attorneys discovered handwritten notes taken in 2006 by Gregory Clarick, an attorney who represented Kesha in a previous clash with Dr. Luke. The notes purportedly showed that Kesha had disclosed to Clarick an incident in which Dr. Luke gave her a pill that caused her to black out on the night she claims he raped her.

But in October, the trial judge overseeing Dr. Luke’s case refused to allow Clarick’s notes into evidence. She ruled that the notes had never been disclosed during “years of voluminous document discovery and throughout dozens of depositions” and that Dr. Luke might have adopted a different strategy if they had been. “Discovery deadlines are intended to prevent exactly this,” the judge wrote.

On appeal, Kesha’s lawyers argued that banning such “critical evidence” from trial would essentially amount to a miscarriage of justice.

“If … Kesha is forced to defend herself while pretending these notes don’t exist, she will be enormously prejudiced,” they wrote. “Nor would the public interest in the truth-seeking process be served by such a charade.”

Firing back, Dr. Luke’s lawyers said the notes had been properly barred – and that Kesha’s lawyers had “grossly mischaracterized” their importance to the case.

“Far from being ‘critical’ evidence, the … notes are extraordinarily unreliable, containing multiple levels of hearsay,” Dr. Luke’s lawyers wrote. “They contain no accusation of rape, despite that accusation being the central component of [Kesha]’s defamatory campaign.”

In Thursday’s ruling, the appeals court sided with Dr. Luke and against Kesha. It ruled that the trial judge had “providently exercised its discretion” in refusing to admit the notes, since the “belated disclosure” of such evidence would have unfairly harmed Dr. Luke’s ability to argue his case.

Following the ruling, neither side’s attorneys immediately returned requests for comment from Billboard.

Kesha Suffers Another Defeat In Dr. Luke Defamation Case Kesha is facing another setback in Dr. Luke’s long-running defamation lawsuit against her, after a New York court ruled that the pop star cannot show jurors handwritten notes from 2006 that her attorneys have called “critical evidence” to her defense. Kesha’s attorneys say the notes, penned by…