A hit-making music producer has asked a judge to drop claims that he sexually abused pop singer Kesha from a civil lawsuit.
In a court filing, lawyers for Lukasz Gottwald, known professionally as Dr Luke, argued that Kesha's claim that she was raped by her mentor was barred by the statute of limitations.
Kesha, 27, sued Gottwald, 41, last month claiming the producer subjected her to nearly a decade of emotional and sexual abuse. She did not state when the alleged rape happened and Gottwald's lawyers say the allegation should be thrown out of the case because it could not have occurred within the past two years.
The producer's filings note that in a 2011 deposition, Kesha denied that Gottwald made any sexual advances towards her. Portions of the deposition were unsealed by a New York judge last month.
Kesha's lawyer Mark Geragos has said Gottwald threatened his client that he would harm her if she ever discussed the alleged rape.
Gottwald's lawyers are also seeking the dismissal of a claim of gender violence, which they state has a three-year statute of limitations. If dismissed, six other allegations including sexual harassment, civil harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress would remain in the case, although those might be the subject of later motions.
"Dr Luke is hiding behind a legally flawed motion which we expect won't work," Mr Geragos said.
Kesha and Gottwald have competing lawsuits filed in Los Angeles and New York, respectively. The producer, who has produced hits for artists such as Katy Perry, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Pitbull, Flo Rida and Miley Cyrus, has denied he raped Kesha and his lawyers have said her case is an attempt by the singer to gain a more favourable contract.
The Tik Tok singer's suit accuses Gottwald of subjecting her to other sexual and emotional abuse for nearly a decade. The abuse led Kesha to develop a severe eating disorder that required her to enter rehab earlier this year, according to the lawsuit.
She is asking a judge to release her from contracts she signed with Gottwald.