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Courthouse News Service: Public Figure Question Looks Central to Kesha Defamation Suit

April 18, 2023

Arguments were delivered before New York’s high court in music producer Lukasz Gottwald’s defamation suit against artist Kesha. Gottwald, also known as Dr. Luke, filed defamation claims against Kesha after the artist accused him of verbally and sexually assaulting her. At question during the arguments was whether or not Gottwald is considered a public figure. Lower courts have ruled in this case that Gottwald is not a public figure, but the New York Court of Appeals noted various instances in which Gottwald had acquired significant interest from the public. “He was chosen to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That’s for famous people,” said Anton Metlitsky, who represents Kesha. “He was a finalist as a judge in ‘American Idol.’ Those producers don’t pick people who aren't going to draw an audience. He was the subject of articles in The New Yorker, Billboard magazine.”

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