5 Takeaways From New Kesha vs. Dr. Luke Court Documents

Illustration for article titled 5 Takeaways From New Kesha vs. Dr. Luke Court Documents
Image: Getty

A large number of new court documents have been released by the New York Supreme Court in Dr. Luke’s defamation lawsuit against Kesha, which include therapy notes, years of email and text exchanges, and even a handwritten birthday card Kesha once wrote for Dr. Luke. Here are just five takeaways from the documents.

1. We now have the text exchange between Lady Gaga and Kesha

One of the text message exchanges included in the documents is the previously sealed text message exchange between Lady Gaga and Kesha where they talk about Katy Perry being raped by Dr. Luke, an allegation Perry says is false according to her deposition in the case. Gaga and Kesha’s exchange over text in 2016 reads:

Kesha: I’m really upset with Katy perry

Lady Gaga: :(

LG: Did u do something

Sorry I meant her

K: she could bring the whole thing to a head

LG: Did she

K: but she won’t

LG: Oh right

LG: Yeah that is tough

K: she was raped by the same man

K: it’s sick

LG: She is probably afraid to lose everything

LG: U are really strong standing up to him, she’s not as strong as u yet

LG: Have u talked to her?

K: your right. I need to find some sympathy and empathy for her. she’s so mean. it’s hard.

LG: Do u want me to see if I can talk to her

LG: I know she’s mean

K: are you friendly with her?


LG: Omg NO

LG: She makes me angry about shit but I just try to have empathy for her

K: ugh I mean I know why she’s not coming forward. you are right and very insightful.

LG: I mean

LG: She probably hasn’t even accepted it yet

Kesha: maybe. it’s not my battle.

Kesha previously said that she did not want these text messages public, but they were produced in a subpoena by Dr. Luke’s legal team. In Perry’s deposition, she says that she was “annoyed, pissed off that she would bring me into it in this way,” and that she felt like she was a “tie-breaker,” implying that her denial of the rape allegations indicates that somebody is lying.


2. Dr. Luke continues to deny Kesha’s rape allegations

In his deposition Dr. Luke walks through what happened after Nikki Hilton’s birthday party which both he and Kesha attended in October 2005, and was when Kesha alleges she was drugged and raped by the producer. Dr. Luke says that after Kesha was kicked out of the party, they walked to his hotel nearby where he gave her his bed to sleep in. He says at no point did he give her a roofie and that he made no physical or sexual contact with her from then until he left the next morning.

According to court documents, it wasn’t until 2008 that Dr. Luke says he heard the rumor that he had allegedly drugged Kesha. He received an email from a musician Jared Scharff, who wrote, “thought you might want to know that she also said u tried to roofie her, not sure what the fuck she was talking about.” At that time, Dr. Luke says he and Kesha weren’t speaking and their working relationship had lapsed even though she was still signed to him. But Dr. Luke says he did not immediately confront her about the allegation. He says it wasn’t until they reconnected to work again around the end of 2008 or 2009 that he asked her about it, but not in explicit terms like why and when she thought she had been roofied. Dr. Luke says Kesha apologized to him and while he can’t remember her exact words, he says “I can tell you that what she said satisfied me.”

In the documents Dr. Luke also answers questions about the alleged rape on a 2008 flight. While Kesha has claimed that she was forced to snort a substance before getting on the plane, Dr. Luke claim that both of them were just drunk. He says that the two kissed, briefly (and he says unromantically) and that it “never happened again.”


He also repeatedly denies the allegations he pressured Kesha to say thin, that he did not call her “a refrigerator,” and that a pressure for Kesha to be on a diet stemmed from her own suggestion.

3. Kesha alleges Dr. Luke threatened her livelihood

In court documents Kesha talks more about the alleged attack she suffered while walking on a beach near Dr. Luke’s home in Malibu one day when the two were working. It was on that walk that Kesha said Dr. Luke threatened her, right before her 2011 deposition where she ended up denying Dr. Luke made sexual advances towards her:

His weapon was my life, and it was in the palm of his hands. And that’s what he was threatening to take away from me, my career, my life — the livelihood of my family. I didn’t really know exactly what specifically he was talking about. But he was threatening me, my career. Also my brother and I had worked on a television show. My mom had written songs on my record. All of this — he was saying if I wasn’t a good girl and answer exactly how he instructed me to answer, that was in the palm of his hands and he had the ability to take it away if I didn’t do exactly what I knew I should do, which was answer in his favor and protect him.


Dr. Luke attorney’s Christine Lepera asks to strike this, saying it’s “a mantra” and not an answer. Lepera asks Kesha if Dr. Luke used words like “shoot, maim, kill you or your family members physically?” Kesha responds, “It wasn’t a shoot, maim, or kill,” she says. “It was a vague threat that he just reminded me that my entire life was in his hands and he owned me and he controlled me and if I didn’t do what I was supposed to do, to be a good girl, to do exactly what he told me to do and represent his character perfectly and flawlessly, that he could ruin my career.”

4. Kesha’s mom alleges that Dr. Luke locked her, Kesha, and executive Rani Hancock in a basement in 2012

Kesha’s mother Pebe Sebert says in her deposition that Dr. Luke told her he didn’t want her co-writing on songs with Kesha during a meeting in a basement (or a place she describes as underground) at his Beverly Hills home. Sebert says the meeting was three hours and was set up because Kesha was allegedly not going to recording sessions for her second album because she wanted to renegotiate her deal with Dr. Luke. “Kesha, I remember, said, ‘We’re going to Dr. Luke’s to get yelled at,’” Sebert says. She says the meeting took place in a room with one door, which Dr. Luke sat in front of, and that he said they were both on “Strike 2" and on “Strike 3, they’d be out.” “The gist was we either obeyed him or we were on Strike 3,” she says.


According to court documents record executive Rani Hancock testified that she was also at the meeting and said that Pebe Sebert and Kesha were emotional, but that Dr. Luke did not yell or use any terminology about strikes. Dr. Luke denies locking anyone in a basement but admits the exchange was “heated.”

5. Kesha talked about her alleged rape and working relationship with Dr. Luke in therapy and rehab

Therapy notes dating back as far as 2011 and reports from Kesha’s time in rehab facilities reflect Kesha’s allegations against Dr. Luke. In a therapy session dated December, 2011, Kesha’s therapist writes:

Client discussed how producer often made mean comments about her body and Insulted her. Client stated she had memory of producer slipping drugs Into her drink one night and waking up in hotel room naked. She called mother, but she did not know where she was, Client described feeling as though something sexual might have happened but not knowing for sure. Therapist asked client If she had ever addressed issue with producer, but she had not because she reported being scared of him.


And in a 2014 session at an eating disorder treatment center, a therapist writes:

She reported being tired of people stopping her from creating the music she loves most. She described wanting to let go of producer, but also fears that her career will fail without him. Session addressed the indoctrination/brainwashing she has endured in the development of her career. Resident presents with many features of a battered woman in her relationship with producer. Sexual violence and severe emotional abuse have been part of that relationship.

Pop Culture Reporter, Jezebel

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`


LG: I know she’s mean

K: are you friendly with her?


LG: Omg NO

I don’t want to make light of such a serious issue, but this part of the exchange was kind of hilarious. Not that we didn’t know that Katy Perry was the #1 Mean Girl of pop music, but what I can only imagine was a rapid response all caps NO from Gaga just seals the deal.

Anyways bless Kesha. She is a supremely talented angel and I hope she continues to triumph over Dr. Trash.