#FreeKesha trends on Twitter in light of recent ruling against the singer in Dr. Luke defamation case

The #FreeKesha movement gained momentum on Twitter in light of a recent court ruling (Image via Twitter)
The #FreeKesha movement gained momentum on Twitter in light of a recent court ruling (Image via Twitter)

The #FreeKesha movement gained momentum on Twitter in light of a recent court ruling concerning the singer's ongoing legal battle against her former producer/manager Dr. Luke.

In what is being referred to as 'brutal judicial malpractice' online, Kesha Rose Sebert, popularly known as Kesha, has faced a major legal blow with regard to her case against Dr. Luke.

The appellate court in New York ruled on Thursday, March 10, that the 35-year-old pop star cannot go after Dr. Luke (whose real name is Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald) for her legal fees. Dr. Luke had filed a defamation case against the singer in 2014 after she accused him of rape.

New York's recent expansive anti-SLAPP law won't apply to Dr. Luke's case, as the law is set to only apply to cases after 2020 and not retroactively to cases which have begun before, even if the cases are still active.

The effect of the court ruling on Kesha's case

In late 2019, the state of New York enacted a new anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuits against public participation) law. The statute has been designed to prevent powerful individuals and groups from using libel lawsuits to silence their critics.

The current ruling has a massive impact because per the new law, Dr. Luke would have to prove that Kesha acted with “actual malice” when she made her allegation that he claims are false. This is a rigorous standard that would have made it much harder to win.

Applying the new statute would also have allowed the singer to win repayment of her legal bills once she eventually wins the case.

This legal battle began when Kesha sued Dr. Luke for sexual assault and battery in October 2014, also claiming that his abusive behaviour had led to her developing an eating disorder. Luke promptly fired back with a defamation countersuit.

A judge had ruled in 2021 that the aforementioned law would apply to Dr. Luke’s case retroactively, which was potentially a major blow to his case against Kesha. However, Thursday’s decision overturned the previous ruling.

The court's judgement states:

“There is insufficient evidence supporting the conclusion that the legislature intended its 2020 amendments to the anti-[SLAPP] law to apply retroactively to pending claims such as the defamation claims asserted by plaintiffs in this action,”

Meanwhile, the singer's attorneys made the following statement after the ruling:

“The ruling is manifestly erroneous and contrary to the conclusion reached by approximately 20 other courts. We vow to promptly seek to appeal the decision to New York’s top court."

Dr. Luke’s lawyer, Christine Lepera, said that her client was pleased with the court’s ruling.

Fan reactions on Twitter

A multitude of fans fervently opposed the ruling, with some even sharing their stories about the singer's genuine nature.

Animals, it's time to fight! Kesha needs our help. So, stop what you are doing, and start tweeting with #FreeKesha!The whole world needs to know what's happening to her!
It’s been almost a decade since the #FreeKesha movement has started and she still isn’t free.. this is gross and she deserves her freedom
it is possible to get some justice for Kesha? my god this girl has been through a lot, and still is not yet free from her contract with dr luke and rca records! #FreeKesha 😭❤️
In 2014 I wrote Kesha a letter while she was in rehab for an ED. She wrote back a few weeks later before any case was filed or any reports were made against Dr Luke and the abuse she went through. “There is someone that I work with that is SO abusive” #freekesha

A user also commented on the dire state of practical application of anti-SLAPP law in the country via the context of the case.

This is a huge blow for S/A survivors everywhereThis means the anti-SLAPP law, forcing r*pists to prove their victims acted w malice when suing them, can’t be applied to any closed case or ACTIVE trial that began before 2020. The law does “not apply retroactively.”#FreeKesha
🚨| Donald Trump is using yesterday's decision in the Kesha case in his lawsuit against Mary Trump. Because of Dr Luke, any S/A case brought on before 2020 is affected, giving an automatic win to the r*pist.#FreeKesha

Kesha has received a ton of support from her followers and fans, encouraging her to stay strong.

Kesha made a musical comeback last year, but she has currently canceled her 2022 tour and cruise dates.

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Edited by Mayank Shete
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