Kesha’s estranged producer, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, has filed a second defamation suit against the singer’s mother, Pebe Sebert.
The suit, which was filed in federal court in Tennessee on Wednesday, alleges that Sebert has “continued to publicly defame” Gottwald since he filed his first suit against her in 2014, according to The Wrap. (The initial suit continues, Rolling Stone reports.)
In a statement emailed to The Huffington Post, Gottwald’s lawyer, Christine Lepera, said:
“After we originally filed suit against Pebe Sebert, she continued to make outrageous, false and defamatory statements against Dr. Luke in her widespread media campaign to damage him and smear his name. Pebe Sebert’s lawyers flat out refused to allow us to add those statements to the existing case or to toll the statute of limitations on them ―- so we’ve been compelled to file an additional action.”
Sebert’s lawyer, Alex Little, told HuffPost that the lawsuit is another “effort to sue a mother for publicly supporting and believing her daughter about being raped.”
“It’s also a transparent attempt to delay the trial of these issues. Mrs. Sebert looks forward to presenting her case to a jury as soon as possible,” Little said. “When the evidence is made public, she expects the jury will conclude that all of her statements have been justified.”
Like in the first lawsuit, which was filed against both Sebert and Kesha, Gottwald claims the mother-daughter pair have continued “publishing false and shocking accusations” against the producer in an effort to get the “TiK ToK” singer released from her contracts with him.
The Wrap reports that the new suit outlines new offenses, including a tweet Sebert posted in 2015 saying, “Kesha can’t legally put out music unless she makes it under complete control of a man who raped her at 18.” It also references an interview Sebert gave to Billboard magazine in which she spoke about Kesha’s experiences with Gottwald.
Gottwald is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, which could be “greatly in excess of the $75,000 jurisdictional minimum,” according to The Wrap.
The producer has been embroiled in a very public legal battle with Kesha since 2014, when she accused him of sexual assault and battery and filed lawsuits against him in New York and California. The singer, who hasn’t released an album since 2012, has been very open about the proceedings, often sharing updates with fans on social media.
Gottwald has consistently denied the allegations; he has not been charged with a crime.