Kesha dealt another blow in Dr Luke legal battle as ‘critical evidence’ banned from court
A court ruled against Kesha in long-running, and still ongoing legal battle with Dr Luke.
For years, Kesha has sparred in the courts with Dr Luke, one of American music’s most powerful producers.
She alleges that he “sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally” abused her. He denies the claims and is suing her for defamation.
Kesha’s defence hit a roadbump on Thursday (14 April) when a New York state appeals court ruled that her attorneys cannot show jurors handwritten notes they say are “critical” to the case.
In the dispute, Kesha has alleged that Dr Luke drugged and raped her at a 2005 party when she was just 18. Central to her defence are recently unearthed notes written by one of her former attorneys that suggest she did not fabricate the story.
However, a judge said that as the notes were not introduced at any time during “four years of extensive discovery”, it would be unfair to do so now.
The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court affirmed a previous October ruling that Kesha’s defence simply waited too long to forward the papers into evidence, Billboard reported. They were introduced two years after the deadline.
The notes were written in 2006 by Kesha’s former lawyer Gregory Clarick and reportedly show the “Die Young” singer disclosing details of the alleged drugging.
This would dispute Dr Luke’s claim that Kesha first made the claim in 2013, according to Rolling Stone.
In October a trial judge refused to consider the notes, noting that Kesha’s legal counsel had never provided the papers despite “years of voluminous document discovery and throughout dozens of depositions”.
Kesha’s attorneys urged the appeals court to reverse the barring of “critical evidence” and said not doing so would be “enormously prejudiced” against Kesha.
“Nor would the public interest in the truth-seeking process be served by such a charade,” they added.
The appeals court sided with Dr Luke, whose lawyers had countered that Kesha’s legal representatives had “grossly mischaracterised” the note’s importance.
The “belated disclosure” of the evidence would have tampered Dr Luke’s ability to argue against the case, the court ruled.
It’s the latest setback for Kesha in the legal battle, after she was forced to bring her allegations of sexual abuse to New York when a Los Angeles court dropped the lawsuit altogether.
Last year, the Manhattan Supreme Court ruled that Kesha defamed Dr Luke in a 2016 text with Lady Gaga in which she claimed that Dr Luke had raped Katy Perry.
The same appeals court handed Dr Luke’s case a major win in March by ruling it is not covered by New York’s free speech statute, otherwise known as anti-SLAPP, a law designed to curb libel lawsuits.
If allowed, it would have enabled Kesha to receive repayment of her mounting legal bills if she won the case.
Dr Luke denies raping Kesha. Both Dr Luke and Katy Perry denied the claim that he raped her.