In the ongoing fight to defame Dr. Luke vs. Kesha, the producer faces further setbacks thanks to the New York Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.
The latest in the ongoing legal battle between Kesha and Dr. Luke is that the producer hit a snag: The New York Court of Appeals did it reigns that dr Luke is famous enough to be considered a “disabled socialite”.
This ruling increases his burden in court – he must now prove that Kesha did in fact act maliciously in making her allegedly defamatory statements.
dr Luke’s libel lawsuit against Kesha is the latest chapter in the multi-faceted, multi-state legal battle between the producer and the musician that began when she accused him of rape. He continued to deny these allegations and sued her for defamation, arguing that Kesha’s claims had negatively impacted his career.
There has been much debate as to whether Luke needs to prove that Kesha actually acted maliciously in making her allegations, which will inevitably make winning his case against her more difficult.
Under New York law, the requirement of “actual bad faith” may apply in defamation claims brought by persons who are not public figures if the allegedly defamatory statement relates to matters of public interest. First, the judge oversees the lawsuit reigns that the producer wasn’t a public figure — until new New York free speech laws and a series of appeals from both sides regarding Luke’s status as a “public figure” led to a different verdict.
“We believe that (Luke) is a limited public figure who must prove by clear and convincing evidence that (Kesha) did indeed act maliciously,” wrote Circuit Judge Michael J. Garcia.
“(Luke) purposefully sought media attention for himself, his businesses, and the artists he represented to advance those business interests,” the judge added. “He has been featured in various publications, radio and television, illuminating the nature of his relationships with these artists and the development of their talent and career.”
And because of new New York laws, if Kesha is successful in court, she can attempt to force Luke to pay attorney fees and damages claims incurred since the law went into effect in 2020. The client will win in court.
Christine Lepera, an attorney for Dr. Luke, told Law360 that his legal team remains “fully confident” that he “will stand up in court as a limited public figure given[Kesha’s]conduct and knowledge in making the defamatory statements in question.”