Dr. Luke Continues to Gain Ground in Legal Battle Against Kesha
publish date: 2017-11-06
Last week, amid the flurry of sexual misconduct claims against high-profile individuals, director-producer Brett Ratner filed a defamation lawsuit against a woman who claims he raped her more than a decade ago. Over the weekend, The New York Times nodded to this new lawsuit. "Mr. Ratner’s suit may not only be the first," wrote David Streitfeld. "[I]t might also be something of a test case for the whole concept of pushing back in court."
Tell that to Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwalt, the record producer accused of raping pop star Kesha Rose Sebert. For nearly three years now, Dr. Luke has been in court in his own defamation lawsuit. Is vindication even possible? In the court of public opinion, Kesha is clearly winning. Few artists will work with Dr. Luke these days. Maybe nothing will change that. But in a court of law, Dr. Luke continues to find advantage.
The latest came last week when New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich held a hearing to determine whether the PR firm of Sunshine Sachs must produce certain documents related to Kesha's press strategy in the early days of the litigation. Dr. Luke's attorneys want the documents to buttress his defamation claim while Kesha's are insisting these communications are protected from disclosure by attorney-client privilege.
According to a just-released transcript of last week's hearing, Kornreich is favoring Dr. Luke's position that the Sunshine Sachs documents are representative of media strategy rather than litigation strategy — and that there's insufficient legal advice evidenced to keep them shielded.