As part of the ongoing courtroom drama between he and Kesha, Dr. Luke has dropped his defamation suit against the pop star’s mother, Pebe Sebert. According to court documents viewed by Pitchfork, record producer Dr. Luke, born Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald, dropped an defamation suit that he originally filed in Tenessee. With the charges dropped against Sebert, the sole struggle remains the New York court case between Kesha and Dr. Luke.
The legal battle dates back to an original accusation made by Kesha in October of 2014. In the case, Kesha has been struggling to get out of her contract, alleging that Dr. Luke raped and abused the singer; for his part, Dr. Luke has filed countersuits that Kesha broke her contract and defamed his character.
Similarly, Dr. Luke claimed that Sebert had tried to assassinate his character with a smear campaign that accused him of raping and drugging Kesha.
According to a joint statement from Sebert and Dr. Luke’s lawyers:
Dr. Luke vigorously disputes and denies that he ever raped Kesha Sebert, and he is asserting claims of defamation in a New York court against Kesha Sebert for making statements to the contrary, which statements Dr. Luke adamantly maintains are false. Pebe admits she has no firsthand personal knowledge of the events occurring on the night of the alleged rape. Pebe was not present that night. At that time, Pebe was in Nashville, and Kesha was in Los Angeles. The dispute between Kesha and Dr. Luke about the events of that night is the subject of the New York case, and will be decided in that case. Accordingly, all parties believe it is appropriate to dismiss this Tennessee case and focus their attention on the New York case.
Sebert’s legal council also submitted an additional statement: “Kesha’s mother, Pebe Sebert, is relieved that Dr. Luke has dismissed the two lawsuits he filed against her. As she said last year, this litigation has been a nightmare, and we are pleased it is now over.”
The back and forth between Kesha and Dr. Luke continues to playout in the New York courts after Kesha dropped another case in California in 2016. Recent developments include Dr. Luke’s accusation that he is owed 1.3 Million in royalties from Kesha, as well as subpoenaing a fan that organized FreeKesha rallies. Further complicating things, both sides have released conflicting emails about the nature of their relationship.
Record company Sony has also had trouble steering clear of the controversy. Though they made statements that seemed to side with Kesha in 2016, they were also accused of insensitivity when they offered to release Kesha from her recording contract only if she agreed to drop her charges. They have been more resolute on the issue of Dr. Luke, however, severing ties with him before his contract expired and releasing court documents that show he is no longer the CEO of Kemosabe Records.
Photo Credit: Sharon Alagna