Kesha is finally free from her legal battle with Dr. Luke after nearly a decade. On Tuesday, the singer said that she’s looking at the future with optimism and thanked her fans — her Animals — for their support.
“I am humbled and in awe of the support and love y’all have given me. You have held me and carried me through the past 9 years,” Kesha shared in a Twitter post on Tuesday. “I am so full of light and excitement for the beautiful things to come, for shows to play, and art to make to share with you all.”
In a message directed at her fans, Kesha quoted her own song: “I don’t need much but there’s one thing I can’t lose. All I need is you.”
Last Thursday, both parties said they had reached a “resolution” to Luke’s defamation lawsuit, years after Kesha first filed a suit against the producer and label owner in 2014. Kesha had alleged an extended period of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, and had attempted to extricate herself from her contract.
Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, countersued that same year, vehemently denying her allegations and claiming that the singer had defamed him. (A judge dismissed Kesha’s claims in 2016, largely on the grounds that they were too old.)
After both parties reached the settlement, they shared statements on social media. Kesha said that “only God knows what happened” on the night she claimed she was raped by the producer, adding, “As I always said, I cannot recount everything that happened.” Luke, for his part, maintained his full innocence: “I am absolutely certain that nothing happened. I never drugged or assaulted her and would never do that to anyone.”
Following the settlement, Rolling Stone spoke to two legal experts to break down what the settlement (and their statements) meant for Kesha and Luke, and their futures.
Though she has no direct knowledge of the settlement’s terms, Susan Crumiller, a feminist attorney based in New York, said she sees it in terms of a broader pattern when allegations of abuse wind up in court. “To the extent that he wanted to continue putting her through hell, he probably succeeded,” she said. “We see abusers using defamation lawsuits as a way to continue their abuse all the time… They’re not looking for some big pot of money at the end, they’re asserting power and control.”
She believed the statements were “heavily negotiated” and “certainly slanted” in Luke’s favor.
Luke and Kesha’s decision to settle after a nine-year court battle arrived days after Kesha earned a pre-trial win when a judge said that Luke would be considered a “limited public figure” in the defamation lawsuit, subjecting the producer to a higher standard of proof in court.
Entertainment attorney Camron Dowlatshahi said he believed that the court’s decision to designate Luke a public figure “absolutely” played a role in Luke’s decision to settle.
“[The court decision] opened up Luke to significant damages,” he said. “If one side thinks they’re gonna have an absolute win, they’re less incentivized to settle. So this ruling certainly incentivized Dr. Luke to come to the table.”