Dr Luke v Kesha: “Smear campaign” documents to be considered at million-dollar defamation lawsuit
Dr Luke has landed a blow on Kesha’s legal and PR team, after New York Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter allowed for the legal army behind Lukas ‘Dr. Luke’ Gottwald to present allegedly damning documents that may point to the singer undertaking a deliberate smear campaign against the producer. The documents in question include recently unsealed emails between Kesha’s managers Jack Rovner and Ken Levitan which claim they should “battle this guy in the press” and “take down his business”. The famed singer’s PR firm, New York-based Sunshine Sachs, are then argued to have been brought in to oversee a series of media statements pushing allegations of abuse presented in a 2014 lawsuit.
How did we get here?
Dr Luke has long argued that the 2014 lawsuit and the concurrent media campaign, one of a number of legal actions to take place between the producer and Kesha, was designed to force his hand in a pre-existing contract dispute. In the lawsuit, Kesha accused Gottwald of sexual assault, battery, harassment, gender violence, unfair treatment and civil harassment throughout their working relationship.
Kesha’s legal team has since argued that statements from the 2014 lawsuit should not be allowed as evidence.
Among Kesha’s allegations against Dr Luke is the claim that the producer forced her to drop out of her Nashville high school to more seriously pursue her music career; in 2005, he is alleged to have forced Kesha to sign with his production company, Kemosabe Entertainment.
It is during her time working with Dr Luke that Kesha claims to have witnessed the world-class producer bragging about having sex with inebriated women. The singer also claims that Gottwald confessed to forcing his wife to have her pregnancy terminated, in addition to tricking Kesha into consuming illicit and date rape drugs.
Dr Luke’s comeback
Gottwald has consistently denied allegations made by Kesha and her legal and PR team. His side of the story, Dr Luke claims, is that the singer filed “a bogus complaint” against Gottwald to ensure the nullification of a six-album deal signed with the producer in 2005. The ensuing “PR media blitz,” Gottwald says, was designed to force his hand via negative public attention.
Several emails to media outlets from Kesha’s managing team certainly appear to back up Gottwald’s claims: the singer’s managers offered a “TMZ exclusive” with regards to the allegations, and other emails allege the goal of the suit was to “help extricate Client K from her currently professional relationship with Person L.”
Three years before filing the Californian lawsuit, Kesha testified in a deposition “Dr. Luke never made sexual advances against me.” Meanwhile, the singer had already filed a number of requests to change her cancel her contract with Sony, citing “irreparable harm” if forced to a legal dispute. A judge refused to grant her motion.
Former IBM iX head John Armstrong joins ICF Olson as EVP
Minneapolis-based marketing and advertising group, ICF Olson, this week hailed John Armstrong as the incoming executive vice president and group lead. Armstrong replaces Louise Clements, following her departure in March to join Worldplay as corporate strategy and development officer. Armstrong brings more than 30 years’ experience in running agency business, including digital strategy, technology and platforms, design, data analytics, eCommerce and cloud, and artificial intelligence with IBM’s Watson. He has worked for leading brands in the consumer, automotive, retail and financial services industries, brokering partnerships with giants like Apple, Adobe, WeWork and Salesforce.
DKC Senior VP Greta Vanhersecke leaves firm to launch GV Public Relations
Public relations veteran Greta Vanhersecke has left her position as senior VP of DKC Public Relations to launch her own firm, GV Public Relations. Specializing in travel, hospitality and lifestyle public relations, Vanhersecke’s latest launch offers customized campaigns and a host of editorial, broadcast and social media service to take clients global.
As founder, Vanhersecke’s PR background is exhaustive. She has managed a range of outcomes for clients, from multi-million dollar international travel brands to recent entry innovators. Vanhersecke offers particular expertise in hotel, spa, restaurant, resort and lifestyle brand launches and creative campaigns, including the brokering of strategic partnerships between clients and major brands, and event execution. Before launching GV Public Relations, Vanhersecke was a Senior Vice President at DKC Public Relations, where she established and built up the firm’s West Coast hospitality division. She expanded the agency’s business into markets across Los Angeles, Seattle, Las Vegas, Mexico and Asia.
UCLA Health and Teen Cancer America Concert Treated to Don McLean, Ed Sheeran Duet
Music history was made last month, when film executive Rick French, CEO of Raleigh-based advertising and digital media agency French/West/Vaughan invited Don McLean and Ed Sheeran to the stage at the TCA benefit with the suggestion that they collaborate. It was, as it turns out, a match made in rock and roll heaven.
A performance by Jewel opened the show, followed by Morrison, McLean and Sheeran. It was the latter performance that stole the show, with Sheeran calling McLean back to the stage to perform a duet of “Vincent”, a moving tribute to Van Gogh by McLean. “I have three favourite songs,” Sheeran confided to the crowd, “and Don McLean wrote two of them.”
The two artists had never met before, introduced only minutes ahead of the duet by TCA board member Rick French. French recorded the last-minute rehearsal backstage on video, a clip that has since gone viral across social media, racking up tens of thousands of views in less than a fortnight.