Kesha says that Dr. Luke has ‘obstructed’ libel suit, wants to ‘get this ordeal behind him’

Kesha a New York judge told Tuesday (August 30). Dr. Luke is to blame for delays that threaten to derail their planned defamation trial in February and says she wants to “get this ordeal behind her and move on with her life.”

The singer said she is “more than eager” to get to the February showdown and finally end a legal battle that has raged since 2014, but that Dr. Luke has delayed two important appeals that must be decided before the case goes to trial.

“Kesha has … done everything in her power to try to ensure that the trial begins as planned, including by seeking to expedite proceedings in the Court of Appeal,” her lawyer. Leah Godesky wrote in a letter to Judge Jennifer G. Schecter. “Dr. Luke has blocked her efforts at every turn.”

“Kesha has an overwhelming interest in having the trial proceed as planned,” Godesky added, “not only so that she can seek vindication, but also so that she can put this ordeal behind her and move on with her life.”

In a statement to Billboard later Tuesday, lawyers for Dr. Luke vehemently denied Kesha’s claims about the delays, saying their client was “ready and willing” to go to trial and “looks forward to winning.”

“It is Kesha’s lawyers who have delayed the case for years by endlessly filing meritless appeals which they have lost time and time again,” said Christine Lepera and Jeffrey Movit. “If the case does not go to trial in February, it will be solely because Kesha’s lawyers decided once again to take multiple appeals.”

Dr. Luke, whose full name is Lukasz Gottwald, filed his lawsuit against Kesha in 2014, claiming she legally defamed him with a “false and shocking” allegation that he drugged and raped her after a party in 2005. He claimed, that she did it as leverage to secure a more lucrative deal.

After nearly eight years of litigation, a trial on those charges is scheduled to finally begin in February. 20. But it is unclear whether those cases can take place until New York’s highest court of appeals decides two key issues that will play a central role in the case.

The first is whether Dr. Luke is a so-called public figureā€”a crucial distinction in a defamation case because the First Amendment makes it much more difficult for such individuals to win a lawsuit. The second question is whether New York’s recently enacted “anti-SLAPP” law applies retroactively to the case; the statute, designed to protect free speech from bad lawsuits, would also make it far more difficult for Dr. Luke wins.

After lower courts posed for dr. Luke on both issues, Kesha is now asking the New York Court of Appeals to overturn the rulings. The cases are pending, but it is unclear when the court will make a decision.

Earlier this month, lawyers for Dr. Luke told Judge Schecter that it seemed “unlikely” that the appeals court would issue its rulings before February, but that they were “ready and willing to proceed with the trial” regardless.

That suggestion prompted a fiery response Tuesday from Kesha’s team, who said the case absolutely cannot go to trial without final rulings from the high court: “It would be a monumental waste of party and judicial resources to proceed to trial when there is a very real risk. that a new trial would be immediately required.”

According to the new filing, Kesha’s team has tried to expedite the appeal but has been blocked by Dr. Luke’s lawyers, who say they have scheduling conflicts. She says that if the trial is delayed, it will be because of those conflicts – and that she has no motive to deliberately delay things.

“Kesha is an individual defendant who has been subjected to (what she will show at trial to be) retaliation for nearly a decade,” Godesky’s letter continued. “The case was filed in the fall of 2014, has cost her enormous amounts of time and money, and has required her to sit for depositions and produce documents about the most intimate details of her life.”

Read the full letter from Kesha’s lawyers here:

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