Singer Kesha, whose full name is Kesha Rose Sebert, is accusing record producer, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald of rape as well as exerting “suffocating control” over her personal and business life for more than 10 years.
It all started when Sebert was an 18-year-old high school student in Nashville, Tenn. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, states that Sebert, now 28, “was an intelligent, family-oriented, and joyful young woman. Ms. Sebert was enrolled in the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) program at her high school, audited classes at the nearby university, and had nearly perfect SAT scores. Ms Sebert excelled academically and had a bright future ahead of her.”
At this point in her life, Sebert met Gottwald, who encouraged her to quit school and sign with his music production company. That was the beginning of nearly a decade of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Sebert claims that Gottwald drugged her with GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate, known as the date rape drug), and then raped her while she was unconscious.
The claim is detailed in the lawsuit: “Ms. Sebert took the pills and woke up the following afternoon, naked in Dr. Luke’s bed, sore and sick, with no memory of how she got there. Ms. Sebert immediately called her mother and made a ‘fresh complaint,’ telling her that she was naked in Dr. Luke’s hotel room, she did not know where the clothes were, that Dr. Luke had raped her, and that she needed to go to the emergency room.”
Sebert’s mother blames Gottwald for her daughter’s eating disorder, for which the singer attended a rehab facility early this year, saying that the award-winning producer, who has created more than thirty Top Ten singles, continually belittled the singer’s physical appearance, with insults like comparing her to a refrigerator.
In addition to attempting to destroy her self-image, insulting her looks as well as her talent, Sebert says that Gottwald threatened to ruin her if she went public with the abuse. The career of the ‘Tik Tok’ multiplatinum singer was completely under the thumb of the now 41-year-old producer, who drew up contracts that the lawsuit alleges deny Sebert “any meaningful profit from her work due to Dr. Luke’s exploitation of her over the last decade.”
Kesha Filing Lawsuit Against Dr… by splashnews
Although the star tried to assert her independence, once by hiring an unapproved manager, and another time by refusing to record her second album, the complaint confirms that Sebert has never reported any of the abusive behavior until now. She is looking to void all recording agreements with Gottwald, and to be allowed to freely enter into contracts with other producers and/or recording companies.
Gottwald, who has worked with pop stars including Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Pink, Avril Lavigne and Kelly Clarkson, has filed his own counter-suit, claiming that not only does Sebert’s lawsuit constitute defamation, but that it is solely due to a contract dispute. He claims that Sebert wants out of a valid six-recording exclusive contract, which the platinum-selling artist signed with him when she was a complete unknown.
His lawsuit states that “As part of the effort to get out of the Gottwald Recording Agreement, Kesha and Pebe [Kesha’s mother] have also orchestrated a campaign of publishing false and shocking accusations against Gottwald to extort Plaintiffs into letting Kesha out of the Gottwald Recording Agreement.” It further says Sebert and her mother have published defamatory statements of physical and mental abuse “that [they] themselves admitted are false.”
In a statement to TMZ, Sebert’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, explained Sebert’s action, saying: “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.”