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Kesha, Dr Luke Reach Settlement in Defamation Suit

Case was scheduled to go to trial next month
Kesha Dr Luke
Dr. Luke and Kesha at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards in 2011 (Credit: Kevin Winter/ Getty Images)

Kesha and Dr. Luke today ended an epic and emotionally charged legal battle, reaching settlement just weeks before trial. A New York court was set to next month hear a defamation case the producer originally brought against the singer in 2014 after she then accused him of having sexually assaulted her in 2005.

The suit was due to go to trial next month, but the pair – who worked together for several years before her 2014 allegations of sexual assault and other offences – released a statement on social media announcing the news of the settlement, details of which have not been revealed.

In the settlement, shown in full below, Dr. Luke, aka Lucasz Gottwald, again denies the accusations as he has throughout, while Kesha Sebert says that she cannot “recount” what happened in 2005.

Kesha first filed suit in 2014 against Dr. Luke, aka Lucasz Gottwald, who was her producer and ran the label, Kemosabe Records, that she was signed to. In the suit, Kesha claimed that she was subject to 10 years of emotional and physical abuse while they worked together. Dr. Luke countersued the same year, saying that Kesha defamed him. The singer dropped her sexual assault suits against Gottwald in California in 2016, with a judge in New York that year dismissing related claims she made in that jurisdiction.

The courts continue to rule over the years on aspects of the pair’s legal battles which included Kesha seeking help from the courts in being released from her contract with Kemosabe Records.

Today’s settlement, however, brings the last running case to an end.

Here are the statements from each party:

“Only God knows what happened that night. As I have always said, I cannot recount everything that happened. I am looking forward to closing the door on this chapter of my life and beginning a new one. I wish nothing but peace to all parties involved.” -Kesha.

“While I appreciate Kesha again acknowledging that she cannot recount what happened that night in 2005, I am absolutely certain that nothing happened. I never drugged or assaulted her and would never do that to anyone. For the sake of my family, I have vigorously fought to clear my name for nearly 10 years. It is time for me to put this difficult matter behind me and move on with my life. I wish Kesha well.” -Dr. Luke

The settlement comes a week after New York’s top appeals court ruled that Dr. Luke is a public figure, meaning that he would have to prove that Kesha acted with “actual malice,” and thereby raising the burden of proof for defamation.

SPIN has reached out for additional comment from each party.