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Kesha Recalls Almost Starving Herself to Death While Working With Dr. Luke in ‘New York Times’ Interview

Kesha opened up about working with music producer Dr. Luke and the sexual assault case she filed against him in a new in-depth interview with The New York Times, which was published Wednesday, October 26.

Kesha Dr. Luke
Kesha and Dr. Luke

As previously reported, Kesha, 29, sued Dr. Luke, 43, in October 2014, claiming that he drugged and raped her. She asked to be released from her Sony contract, but her request was denied. In August, she dropped her lawsuit, although she still maintains that he abused her. Dr. Luke’s lawyers have denied the allegations and said in a statement in February that Kesha is allowed to release music without him. 

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Kesha thin
Ke$ha at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards – Salute To Icons on January 30, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California.

In the Times article, Kesha looked back at her harrowing year and recalled how she first came in contact with Dr. Luke. She signed her record deal with him at age 18 in 2005 but claims that the producer was initially too busy to work with her. In the meantime, she wrote songs for artists like Miley Cyrus and Alice Cooper before she was featured as a vocalist on Flo Rida’s “Right Round” in 2009. The following year, her career took off with the release of her debut single, “TiK ToK.”

Kesha wasn’t completely happy, though. She told the Times that every song was about partying and that she wanted to show there was more to her than that. “Something that was always told to me is: ‘You’re fun. We’re going to capitalize on that,'” she said of working with Dr. Luke. “I was like, ‘I am fun, but I’m a lot of other things.’ But Luke’s like: ‘No, you’re fun. That’s all you are for your first record.'”

Kesha performs at T4 Stars of 2009 at Earls Court Arena on Nov. 29, 2009, in London.

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She added: “To this day, I’ve never released a single that’s a true ballad, and I feel like those are the songs that balance out the perception of you, because you can be a fun girl. You can go and have a crazy night out, but you also, as a human being, have vulnerable emotions. You have love.”

Kesha’s new fame came with plenty of critics. “You know, when I first came out, I was saying I want to even the playing field. I’m a superfeminist. I am an ultra-till-the-day-I-die feminist, and I am allowed to do, and say, and participate in all the activities that men can do, and they get celebrated for it,” she said. “And women get chastised for it.”

Kesha eventually found her fan base, but claims that Dr. Luke became verbally abusive at the height of her success. She alleges in the lawsuit that he called her a fat refrigerator and criticized her weight in front of others.

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“I was under immense pressure to starve myself. And I tried to and almost killed myself in the process,” she told the Times. In 2014, she checked into rehab for two months to seek treatment for an eating disorder.

“As you grow up and you grow awareness, some say ignorance is bliss, and in some ways, it is, but once you realize and you gain knowledge, it’s there, and you can’t deny it. And now I’m very much aware of things that I wasn’t before, and it keeps me more accountable for my actions,” she said. “I was taking back my strength, and I was taking back my voice, and taking back my power, taking back my body. I’m just taking back my [expletive] life.”

Still, the past still haunts her. Kesha is now making new music, but says that she is anything but free. According to the Times, she is still unable to release music pending contract litigation. She gave Sony 22 songs that she recorded over the summer, but they’ve yet to be released.

Dr. Luke’s lawyer refuted Kesha’s claims in the NYT story on Wednesday. “The New York Times Magazine profile piece that ran today unfortunately has many inaccuracies,” Christine Lepera said in a statement, via Billboard. “This article is part of a continuing coordinated press campaign by Kesha to mislead the public, mischaracterize what has transpired over the last two years, and gain unwarranted sympathy.”

Read the full statement here

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