Definition of Public Figure at Issue in Defamation Lawsuit
Participated in an amicus brief (with the Reporters Committee and other amici) filed with the New York Appellate Division, First Department, in Gottwald v. Sebert (Dr. Luke v. Kesha) in support of Kesha’s motion for leave to appeal to the New York Court of Appeals. Music producer Dr. Luke filed a defamation lawsuit against artist Kesha over several statements regarding Kesha’s allegations that Dr. Luke sexually assaulted her and singer Katy Perry. Both the trial court and appellate court held that Dr. Luke is not a public figure. This brief supports Kesha’s argument that both courts erred in that holding. It further argues that, because the majority’s decision is in tension with existing Court of Appeals and Second Circuit precedent regarding the definition of a public figure, Kesha’s motion for leave should be granted to permit the Court of Appeals to resolve the issue.