Kesha Sues Super-Producer Dr. Luke, Alleging Sexual Assault, Emotional Abuse

by Sophie Schillaci 11:10 AM PDT, October 14, 2014
Photo: Getty Images

Kesha dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, suing pop music super-producer Dr. Luke for sexual, physical, verbal and emotional abuse.

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles and obtained by ETonline, Kesha (nee Kesha Sebert) accuses Dr. Luke (Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald) of abusing her over the course of 10 years to the point, the suit states, "where Ms. Sebert nearly lost her life."

"Dr. Luke abused Ms. Sebert in order to destroy her self-confidence, self-image, and self-worth so that he could maintain complete control over her life and career," the lawsuit reads. Kesha was signed to Dr. Luke's Kemosabe Entertainment label and Prescription Songs music publishing company in 2005 when she was just 18 years old.

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Dr. Luke gave Kesha her big break in 2008 when he used her vocals on Flo Rida's song "Right Round," though he neglected to credit her on the song and Kesha claims she has still never been compensated for it. Her subsequent albums, 2010's Animal and 2012's Warrior, were both released under Dr. Luke's label.

The suit accuses Dr. Luke of forcing Kesha "snort an illicit drug" before a flight and then physically force himself on the singer while she was intoxicated and drugged. It also alleges that Dr. Luke gave Kesha a date rape drug and raped her while she was unconscious. "He threatened that if she ever mentioned the rape to anyone, he would shut her career down," the suit continues, "and otherwise destroy not only her life but her entire family's lives as well." In one instance that allegedly became physical, Kesha says that she fled Dr. Luke's Malibu house, running barefoot down the Pacific Coast Highway and hiding in the nearby mountains.

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Kesha made headlines earlier this year when she checked herself into rehab to treat an eating disorder. According to the new lawsuit, Dr. Luke allegedly hurled insults at the singer, including calling her a "fat f**king refrigerator."

So why is Kesha taking action now? According to the lawsuit, the singer's doctors concluded that Dr. Luke had "physically and psychologically damaged" Kesha to the point that continuing to work under her professional contract with him would be "life threatening." She is asking a judge to let her out of her contract with Dr. Luke. (The suit also alleges that Dr. Luke refused to renegotiate Kesha's contract, as is typical in the music industry, with improved terms following the success of her first album.)

Kesha's lawyer Mark Geragos issued the following statement to ETonline:

"This lawsuit is a wholehearted effort by Kesha to regain control of her music career and her personal freedom after suffering for ten years as a victim of mental manipulation, emotional abuse and an instance of sexual assault at the hands of Dr. Luke. The facts presented in our lawsuit paint a picture of a man who is controlling and willing to commit horrible acts of abuse in an attempt to intimidate an impressionable, talented, young female artist into submission for his personal gain. Kesha is focused on moving her life and her career beyond this terrible time."

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Dr. Luke's camp has not yet responded to ET's request for comment.

UPDATE: Dr. Luke has filed a counter suit against Kesha, alleging that the pop star attempted to extort him and made up lies in an attempt to be released from her contract with him. Click HERE for more details.

ETonline will continue to track this story as it develops.