Mark Geragos wins motion in defamation fight against Dr. Luke
Since the complaints were filed, New York has expanded its anti-SLAPP protections in an attempt to deter frivolous lawsuits arising from the exercise of free speech. First, Kesha seized the opportunity and a judge concluded that Gottwald will have to prove actual malice (knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth) in order to prevail over his libel claim – even if the court had already concluded that he was a private figure. Under the new law, it does not matter if the topic of discussion is a matter of public interest.
Now it’s Geragos’ turn. Judge Shawn Kelly on Thursday granted Geragos’ request to vary his response to the complaint and assert a claim for attorney fees under the new anti-SLAPP law. A source familiar with the matter said Gottwald could be liable for “millions of dollars in legal fees” if Geragos wins the SLAPP motion.
Gottwald opposed the motion, arguing that the allegedly defamatory statements at issue do not relate to a matter of public interest and that an anti-SLAPP motion would fail because his trial is not frivolous.
Kelly disagreed. “[T]he alleged defamatory statements regarding posts on Twitter and subsequent comment on TMC, ”Kelly writes in the order, which is embedded below. “These forums are unmistakably public and, in addition, the Applicant is a famous ‘Grammy-nominated songwriter and record producer’. which operates “its own record company and its own publishing house”.
Kelly also noted that it is not yet clear whether Gottwald will ultimately prevail over the merits of his claim, Geragos is not required to prove that his counterclaim will prevail at this point, and the counterclaim is not. “not clearly unfounded, nor futile”.
Read the judge’s ruling / order on the motion here. This article was originally published by Hollywood journalist.