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Dr Luke claims Kesha’s rape allegations cost him $46 million

By | Published on Wednesday 27 October 2021

Dr Luke

Dr Luke will claim that Kesha’s rape allegations cost him $46 million in lost business opportunities when his defamation lawsuit properly gets to court. That’s based on some maths done by a financial expert, an outline of which was among a load of documents submitted by both sides in this legal battle which were unsealed by the court on Monday.

The defamation claim is all that remains of the long running legal battle between former collaborators Luke – real name Lukas Gottwald – and Kesha. He claims that she made up the rape allegations in order to force his hand in contract negotiations.

In a defamation case you need to prove that the other party lied and that the lie caused you damage. Hence the Gottwald team’s hiring of accountant and business manager Arthur Erk from Citrin Cooperman & Company to assess what opportunities and potential revenues Gottwald lost because of the negative impact the rape allegations had on his professional reputation.

The starting point for Erk’s calculations is the dramatic drop off in production projects Luke and his companies secured in the years after Kesha first made allegations of rape in late 2014. The big drop off occurred in 2016 and, Erk claims, the following years were also unproductive compared to the decade prior to the rape allegations.

“Commencing in 2015”, Erk’s document states, “there was a sudden, sharp drop-off in the number of production projects by Gottwald. In 2013, 28 commercially released tracks were produced by Gottwald. In 2014, 32 commercially released tracks were produced by Gottwald. In 2015, 31 commercially released tracks were produced by Gottwald. In 2016, two commercially released tracks were produced by Gottwald, 29 less than 2015. Gottwald’s production project activity remained at historic lows in 2017 and 2018”.

The legal filing then talks through all the various ways Gottwald and his companies make money from the records he produces, including his share of recording income as producer, and of publishing income as a co-writer on many of the songs he works on. Just the latter generated nearly £78 million in the decade prior to the rape allegation, Erk claims.

“Gottwald has produced numerous songs through the years for many prominent artists such as Katy Perry, Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus”, his legal filing notes. “From 2006 through 2015, Gottwald has generated over $77,790,000 in publishing income, reaching a high of over $8,667,000 in 2011”.

Blaming that drop off in projects on Kesha’s allegations, Erk then estimates what Gottwald would have made from the projects he may have otherwise produced in 2016 and beyond. In total he estimates the producer lost $46,253,672 in potential income.

Tomorrow both sides in the defamation case will present arguments before the judge as to why evidence and testimonies gathered by the other side should not presented in court. The Kesha team has already criticised Erk’s work, arguing that it doesn’t acknowledge other factors that could have resulted in the decline in the producer’s output.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, other evidence that will be discussed tomorrow includes testimony from a psychiatrist who will say that Kesha’s allegations are more consistent with a false report of rape than a true one, which – needless to say – the Kesha side would like the judge to deem inadmissible in court. Gottwald’s reps, meanwhile, want to strike out any testimony relating to his wealth and unrelated copyright disputes, and any general talk about the #MeToo movement.