Ongoing legal battle between Kesha and her producer continues.
Dr. Luke, real name Lukasz Gottwald, has filed a new lawsuit against Pebe Sebert, Kesha’s mother, in Tennessee. The producer alleges defamation from tweets and a March interview in Billboard in which Sebert said “Luke almost destroyed us.” Sebert is a songwriter who has worked with Dolly Parton, Pitbull, and Kesha.
Speaking to Pitchfork, a lawyer for Gottwald claimed Sebert had continued to make “outrageous, false, and defamatory statements” against the producer and that her team refused to allow the new statements to be added to an existing case, filed in October 2014. In a statement, a lawyer for Sebert replied “this marks Dr. Luke’s second effort to sue a mother for publicly supporting and believing her daughter about being raped.”
This isn’t the first time Gottwald has sued Kesha’s mother. In October 2014 he filed lawsuits against both Kesha and Sebert, accusing the latter of taking part in a smear campaign that alleged he plied the singer with drugs and sexually abused her. In February this year a New York judge dismissed Gottwald’s lawsuit against Sebert in that state but the one in Tennessee continued. Then, in April, Sebert dropped a countersuit against Gottwald in Tennessee claiming she “has decided to move on and find peace and forgiveness in her heart.”
Meanwhile, the discovery process in Gottwald’s defamation case against Kesha in New York is still ongoing. That lawsuit came in response to Kesha filing her own 2014 suit against Gottwald in California, accusing him of rape and other abuse. In early August 2016, Kesha dropped the California lawsuit, claiming “I need to get my music out.” In February this year, Kesha was denied an injunction by a New York Supreme Court Justice that would have freed her from her contract with Gottwald. She has appealed that decision.
Lawyers for Gottwald argued in a Tennessee federal court filing yesterday that their case first requires a resolution of the “underlying factual dispute as to whether [Kesha] was sexually abused by [Dr. Luke]”, which is part of the ongoing New York lawsuit. Sebert’s lawyers refuted that argument. The joint filing by both sides proposes a jury trial on September 12, 2017.
Alex Little, a laywer for Sebert, said in a statement that Gottwald’s latest move was a “transparent attempt” to delay the trial on claims of sexual abuse. “Mrs. Sebert looks forward to presenting her case to a jury as soon as possible. When the evidence is made public, she expects the jury will conclude that all of her statements have been justified.”
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