Defamation case against former Kesha lawyer allowed to proceed
By Chris Cooke | Published on Thursday 20 April 2017
A New York judge has knocked back efforts by celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos to have a defamation lawsuit filed by producer Dr Luke dismissed.
For a time Geragos was representing Kesha in her long-running legal battle with the producer, and it was during that time that the attorney himself ended up on the receiving end of legal action from Luke’s lawyers. The defamation case relates to comments Geragos made on Twitter and to TMZ following an interview Lady Gaga gave to Howard Stern in which she discussed being sexually assaulted.
Allegations of sexual assault are, of course, part of the ongoing legal battle between Kesha and Luke. Linking to a report on the Lady Gaga interview, the lawyer tweeted “Guess who the rapist was?”, subsequently tweeting “#bingo” when someone asked if he meant Dr Luke. He later repeated the allegation to TMZ.
Seeking to have the defamation case thrown out of court, Geragos’s legal firm put forward various arguments, including that neither his tweets nor TMZ should be taken seriously.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the legal man’s request for dismissal argued that: “Posting the provocative comment ‘guess the rapist’ on Twitter clearly implies the poster’s intent to engage in a non-serious, gossipy and hyperbolic interaction. Additionally, the use of the term ‘bingo’ in and of itself suggests a lack of seriousness”.
Discussing TMZ, the motion to dismiss added: “TMZ is not CNN, the New York Times, or the Associated Press. Instead it is a website that admits its meteoric rise to popularity followed its coverage of actor Mel Gibson’s DUI arrest, comedian Michael Richards’ racist and profanity-laced tirade at the Laugh Factor in Los Angeles, and the news of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline’s divorce. This is not news, it is entertainment”.
But the judge overseeing the case didn’t think that any of Geragos’s arguments were sufficient to dismiss the action, instead ruling that Luke’s case was sufficiently strong for the matter to be properly heard in court.