Artist News Business News Legal

Judge declines to hold Kesha’s ex-lawyer in contempt in Dr Luke defamation case

By | Published on Wednesday 18 December 2019


A US judge has declined to hold Kesha’s former lawyer Mark Geragos in contempt of court, rejecting a recent request from legal reps for Dr Luke.

The attempt to have Geragos held in contempt was one of the side shows to the long-running legal dispute between Luke and Kesha. She, of course, accuses him of sexual assault. He has always denied that claim and argues that Kesha made it up in a bid to get out of contractual commitments to his various companies.

This has been a multi-layered legal battle that has involved multiple lawsuits in multiple states. And that includes some defamation lawsuits. Including one against Geragos, who was Kesha’s legal representative for a while. That particular defamation claim related to comments Geragos made in which he implied that Luke had sexually assaulted Lady Gaga.

Last month Luke’s legal reps made new claims about Geragos, generally criticising his conduct, both as Kesha’s attorney and, more recently, in relation to the defamation litigation.

In particular, they urged the court to hold Geragos in contempt over allegations he had previously claimed, under oath in a deposition, that an assortment of documents the Luke side wanted access to had been destroyed. Said documents were then subsequently produced by the Geragos side as part of the ongoing proceedings.

Luke’s side stated: “The Geragos parties’ motivation for concealing these documents is obvious. This is a defamation action, arising from the efforts of defendant, Geragos, and defendant’s other representatives to destroy [Luke]’s reputation and business through a coordinated media campaign. By concealing the documents which the court ordered the Geragos parties to produce, the Geragos parties sought – and still seek – to hide the full scope of those efforts, and the Geragos parties’ involvement with them”.

A spokesperson for Geragos’s law firm was scathing about the contempt allegations, while also citing Luke’s involvement in the recent Katy Perry song-theft case. They said: “The motion, which reads more like an incoherent and unintelligible sloppy rant, is entirely without merit. It appears that Luke is increasingly desperate after his last multi-million dollar litigation loss in the Katy Perry case. Frankly, he’s a sad and desperate man who needs a new hobby”.

The judge overseeing this element of the ongoing dispute yesterday declined to hold Geragos in contempt, or to issue other sanctions against the lawyer. She did concede that “Geragos’s conduct “leaves much to be desired”. However, she added, Luke’s team had not successfully proven any “clear violation of a court order or a lie made under oath”.

Following all that, Luke’s lawyer Christine Lepera told reporters that she disagreed with yesterday’s ruling, but said that she was nevertheless pleased with some of the judge observations, adding that further options for seeking sanctions against Geragos remained.

She said: “The court already admonished Mr Geragos, holding that he ‘refused to abide by a court ruling’ and that ‘the court is dismayed at [his] conduct’ … Although the court declined to issue sanctions today, it has once again ruled that his behaviour ‘leaves much to be desired’ and it ‘remains troubled’ by his deletion of evidence. The court further held that plaintiffs can seek sanctions at trial due to his destruction of evidence, which plaintiffs fully intend to pursue”.