No holding back. In a new tell-all interview with Billboard published on Thursday, March 10, Kesha’s mom, Rosemary Patricia “Pebe” Sebert, said that her daughter was Dr. Luke’s “prisoner” during the decade they worked together starting in 2005.
“She was a prisoner. It was like someone who beats you every day and hangs you from a chain and then comes in and gives you a piece of bread,” Sebert, 59, told the magazine. “Luke would say, ‘You look nice today,’ and send her into hysterics of happiness because she was programmed to expect nothing but abuse.”
Sebert had hoped Kesha would end her relationship with Dr. Luke much earlier than she did. (The last album Kesha released with the famed hitmaker was 2012’s Warrior.)
“I wanted Kesha to come forward a long time ago and end this relationship with Dr. Luke immediately after the [alleged] rape. But if she wanted to have a shot at the music business, she had no choice but [to work with him],” Sebert claimed. “He saw her as a cash cow and started manipulating her all the time. She thought all her dreams were finally coming true, but this was just a f--ing trip to hell.”
Dr. Luke, for his part, has vehemently denied his former collaborator’s claims of rape and abuse. "I didn’t rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her," he tweeted on February 22. "Kesha and I were friends for many years and she was like my little sister."
His lawyers reiterated the denial in a statement to Us Weekly. "As Dr. Luke has said repeatedly, the allegations against him are outright lies that have been advanced to extort a contract renegotiation and money,” the statement read. “Kesha and her counsel have cavalierly subjected Dr. Luke and his family to trial by Twitter, using a vicious smear campaign to ruin his reputation for financial gain while failing to support their claims. Kesha to date has never verified the allegations in this case — even when given the opportunity in her affidavit. Nor has she ever offered a credible explanation as to why she would have signed a second recording agreement, recorded two albums and an EP and signed a publishing deal with Dr. Luke after allegedly being sexually abused. It will further be shown that the incidents alleged never happened.”
While Sony has stated that the “TiK ToK” singer, 29, is able to work with producers other than Dr. Luke (real name: Lukasz Gottwald), Sebert claimed that Gottwald, 42, still has complete control over Kesha’s future releases, as he is head of Kemosabe Records — the label she’s signed to under the music conglomerate.
“Kesha’s allowed to work with another producer. But Luke gets to approve them,” Sebert told Billboard. “He gets to approve of anyone she works with. He has final say over everything. … Luke almost destroyed us. And he has done it intentionally.”
As Us Weekly previously reported, New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich denied Kesha’s motion to be released from her contract with Dr. Luke on February 19.
“You’re asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry,” the judge told Kesha’s attorney, Mark Geragos, adding that her instinct was “to do the commercially reasonable thing.”
Dr. Luke — who has produced hits for superstars like Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus — may have won in court, but The Wrap reported on Wednesday, March 9, that Sony might soon drop Gottwald after all the backlash he has received postscandal.
“It’s being discussed,” an insider told Us. "It’s a legal issue, so it’s not an easy thing, and a lot of people need to weigh in."
While a rep for Sony had no comment, Dr. Luke’s attorney said in a statement, "Luke has an excellent relationship with Sony. His representatives are in regular contact with executives at the highest levels at Sony and this has never come up."
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