The courtroom battle between Dr. Luke and Kesha is still far from over. Despite a ruling last February in a New York court that kept Kesha tethered to her contract with Luke’s Sony-owned label Kemosabe—and, later, a dismissal of her “hate crime” and sexual assault claims—each side has expressed a desire to file new litigation regarding the case. As The Hollywood Reporter reports, both Luke and Kesha’s teams met with a New York Supreme Court judge on Monday to discuss amending their suits with new counterclaims.
The most notable element of Luke’s new claims revolves around a text message that Kesha apparently sent to Lady Gaga, which was reportedly brought into evidence in the case at the end of December. In the text, per Luke’s attorneys, Kesha told Gaga that Luke (though not referred to by name) raped another “female recording artist.” Here’s the exact language from the court document, as quoted by THR.
On February 26, 2016 — one week after losing her motion for preliminary injunction — Kesha initiated a text message conversation with Stefani Germanotta, the recording artist who is professionally known as ‘Lady Gaga.’ During this text message conversation, Kesha falsely and baselessly asserted that Kesha and another female recording artist (the ‘Other Recording Artist’) had both been raped by Gottwald. Specifically, Kesha told Lady Gaga that ‘she [i.e., the Other Recording Artist] was raped by the same man’ as Kesha. The ‘man’ to whom Kesha referred was Gottwald — as the surrounding context of the text message makes clear. Kesha’s assertions to Lady Gaga were completely false. Gottwald did not rape Kesha, and he did not rape the Other Recording Artist.
Luke is also continuing to allege a supposed “smear campaign” by Kesha and her mother Pebe, arguing that the singer has denigrated him in the media and attempted to “blacklist” him permanently in the industry. (Both Luke and Kesha’s complaints cite the fact that Luke and his company KMI’s contract with Sony is up in March, and that it has not yet been renewed; last year, there were rumors of an early termination of the deal due to Kesha’s sexual assault allegations before a Sony rep denied them.)
Kesha, for her part, claims that she is still owed unpaid royalties by Luke’s company. The suit specifically cites profits from “Timber,” her collaboration with Pitbull, stating that she only received money owed to her from the 2013 this past December, with more royalties still left unpaid. She also argues that the album on which she is currently working is being ignored by Luke’s label, with which she is contractually obligated to release her music: “…not one song has been approved, no release date has been set, and there has been no agreement on the critical issue of whether the album will be promoted commensurate with an artist of Kesha’s stature and historical success,” her proposed countersuit claims.
Earlier this month, Vanity Fair and E! uncovered court documents relating to Kesha’s then-sealed text message. The documents stated that while it was otherwise private, Dr. Luke could “share with Lady Gaga and Katy Perry the April 2016 text that Kesha sent to Lady Gaga, which Kesha turned over in discovery.”
Dr. Luke will presumably attempt to tie this private text message into his narrative of industry “blacklist[ing]” and public defamation during the depositions which he and Kesha are set to participate in this coming week.