According to documents recently filed in the Dr. Luke / Kesha legal case, the producer is seeking $50 million from the “Praying” singer for financial damages he says are a result of her sexual harassment allegations.
The lawsuit began in 2014 when Luke sued Kesha for defamation and breach of contract after the singer went public with her #MeToo story (before the hashtag was a thing). Kesha attempted to countersue and get out of her contract with Dr. Luke, but her countersuit was dismissed in March 2017. On Tuesday, a New York appeals court held up the 2017 decision.
In her appeal, Kesha wrote, “You can get a divorce from an abusive spouse. You can dissolve a partnership if the relationship becomes irreconcilable. The same opportunity — to be liberated from the physical, emotional, and financial bondage of a destructive relationship — should be available to a recording artist.”
In new documents from the case, Dr. Luke claims he lost $29.9 million in producer and publishing royalties, $8.7 million from co-writing with songwriters on his label Kemosabe Records, and $10.2 million he would have earned had he worked on Katy Perry’s fourth, fifth, and sixth albums.
The singer responded to the lawsuit, stating Luke’s calculations are dependent on 1) him having been able to work with the same stars he had previously and 2) his new music being as lucrative as his past hits. His calculations are speculative, not definite.
A rep for Dr. Luke tells The Blast, “Kesha’s false accusations have caused tremendous damage to Dr. Luke, his family and his businesses. Kesha’s recent court filing misstates and misrepresents an expert accountant’s calculations of certain revenue that Mr. Gottwald has lost as a result of Kesha’s false accusations. The ultimate amount of Dr. Luke’s damages is for a jury to decide.”
The lawsuit could go to trial this year, four years after the suit was filed, unless Kesha’s team makes another attempt to appeal the judge’s decision to dismiss her countersuit.
One claim in Kesha’s countersuit was that Luke bullied her about her weight and pressured her into bulimia, which she entered treatment for in 2014. Speaking to Cosmopolitan for next month’s issue, Kesha reflected on that time in her life.
“The final straw was when I was with my mom at a family dinner party and I was so anxious. Driving home, I had to pull over, and I was like, ‘I can’t keep this secret anymore.’ It was scary, but I finally put my foot down and chose life… That was a huge turning point,” she said. “I’m not a size. I’m not a number. I am a strong, badass, motherf—ing woman, and quite frankly, I like my junk. Ten years ago, I never thought I’d be able to say that.”