Kesha's Allegations Against Dr. Luke Rattle the Music Industry

by 2:40 PM PDT, October 15, 2014
Playing Kesha's Allegations Against Dr. Luke Rattle the Music Industry

Music producer Dr. Luke (real name Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald) is firing back after the singer Kesha (legal name Kesha Rose Sebert) filed a lawsuit against him on Tuesday, which accused him of sexual, physical, verbal and emotional abuse.

Kesha's lawyer Mark Geragos issued a statement to ET, calling his client's lawsuit a "wholehearted effort 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."

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In Dr. Luke's counter lawsuit, he denies Kesha's abuse allegations, and claims that Kesha, 27, and her mother, Pebe Sebert, filed the lawsuit in an attempt to "extort Dr. Luke into releasing Kesha from her exclusive recording agreement with [him]."

"In 2005, Gottwald [Dr. Luke] discovered Kesha -- who at the time was completely unknown -- and signed her to a record deal," the filing claims. "He proceeded to devote significant time and effort into her career, ultimately turning her into the prominent platinum-selling artist that she is today."

In the papers, Dr. Luke also claims to have "written the most Number One songs of any songwriter ever," and insists that he "upheld his end of the bargain, devoting the better part of a decade to transforming Kesha from an unknown entity into a well-known recording star."

In Kesha's suit, she alleges, "Dr. Luke was preoccupied with the careers of other artists, those who were more high profile and lucrative. Dr. Luke provided no time, guidance, or support for Ms. Sebert's music career, ultimately leaving her career to languish."

Geragos responded to Dr. Luke's counter suit, giving ET the following statement: "This is just another pathetic and entirely predictable example of Dr. Luke's continued abuse, and a misguided attempt to keep Kesha under his tyrannical control. This lawsuit has absolutely no basis in fact, the law or reality. Kesha is focused on reclaiming her voice and her freedom. She is determined to move on with her life and her career by putting this dark period behind her."

Dr. Luke has been nominated for four Grammy awards, including Album of the Year in 2011 for Katy Perry's Teenage Dream and Song of the Year for Katy Perry's "Roar." He's also worked with Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, Flo Rida, Kelly Clarkson and Miley Cyrus.

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Both of Kesha's full-length albums, 2010's Animal and 2012's Warrior, were released under Dr. Luke's Kemosabe Entertainment label, to which she was signed when she was just 18 years old.

While she alleges that she's been mistreated for some time, she claims that she's taking action now because, according to her lawsuit, doctors concluded that Dr. Luke had "physically and psychologically damaged" Kesha to the point that continuing to work under her contract with him would be "life threatening."

Earlier this year, Kesha checked herself into rehab to treat an eating disorder. She opened up about her fight with body image issues in an essay for Elle UK magazine, writing, "The music industry has set unrealistic expectations for what a body is supposed to look like, and I started becoming overly critical of my own body because of that."