Kesha and Dr. Luke Settle Defamation Lawsuit

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

Kesha and her former producer Dr. Luke have reached a settlement in their almost decade-long legal battle. The disagreement stemmed from a 2014 lawsuit Kesha filed against the producer alleging that he drugged and raped her in 2005; Dr. Luke responded by suing the singer for defamation. The dispute was scheduled to go to trial in Manhattan next month. “Only God knows what happened that night,” Kesha said in a joint statement. “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.”

In her original lawsuit, Kesha argued she should be released from her contract with Dr. Luke because he had “sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally abused” her. The singer alleged that not long after she had signed with Dr. Luke as an 18-year-old, she was attending a party at Paris Hilton’s Hollywood home when the producer gave her the date-rape drug GHB. Kesha claimed he then took her back to her hotel room and raped her while she was unconscious. Kesha also accused Dr. Luke of years of “mental manipulation,” including making comments about weight, which she says led her to develop an eating disorder.

Dr. Luke refuted the allegations and countersued Kesha, calling her accusations “lurid” and claiming she’d made them up to extort him and get out of her recording contract. After a judge declined to release Kesha from her contract with Dr. Luke in 2016, fellow artists — including Kelly Clarkson, Halsey, and Lady Gaga — shared their support for the singer. “This case has never been about a renegotiation of my record contract — it was never about getting a bigger or a better deal. This is about being free from my abuser,” she wrote in a Facebook statement that year.

After years of bitter litigation, Dr. Luke’s defamation case against Kesha was set to go to court in July. While terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, Dr. Luke maintained his innocence in his public statement. “While I appreciate Kesha again acknowledging that she cannot recount what happened that night in 2005,” he wrote, “I am absolutely certain that nothing happened. I never drugged or assaulted her and would never do that to anyone.”

Kesha and Dr. Luke Settle Defamation Lawsuit