Kesha's Mom Speaks In New Billboard Interview: 'She Was a Prisoner'

Illustration for article titled Kesha's Mom Speaks In New Billboard Interview: 'She Was a Prisoner'

In a new Billboard piece detailing Kesha’s lawsuit against Dr. Luke, Kesha’s mother Pebe Sebert has spoken, and the details are as gruesome as ever. Sebert describes her daughter as “a prisoner” of Dr. Luke, and says that in the current situation, even if Kesha works with another producer as her contract allows, “Luke gets to approve them. He gets to approve of anyone she works with. He has final say over everything.”


As Sebert describes it, Kesha’s experience with Dr. Luke sounds harrowing from the get-go. She explains that she wanted her daughter to depart from the producer long before she actually did—in the Billboard report, Sebert says that Luke’s alleged rape of Kesha occurred as early as 2005, when Kesha was just 18, and four years before her first album, Animal:

Says Pebe: “Looking back, I don’t know why we didn’t go to the police. Kesha told me not to do anything. She said, ‘Mom, I just want to sing. I don’t want to be a rape-case victim. I just want to get my music out.’ I didn’t follow my instincts.”

At that point, reports Billboard, Kesha and her mother had an argument with Dr. Luke over her management and “didn’t communicate with [him] for two years.” After they reunited over pre-existing contracts, Pebe Sebert alleges the sexual abuse of Kesha continued:

In the 2014 lawsuit, Kesha claims that before a flight to Los Angeles, Luke forced her to snort “an illicit drug” and made sexual advances on her while she was intoxicated on the plane, where she had started drinking. “I do remember her calling me from the plane telling me that she was so drunk, and [how] Dr. Luke came over and started making out with her and was all over her,” says Pebe. “She told me she felt terrible and was trying to get away from him and then vomited.”

As she became increasingly successful, alleges Sebert, Dr. Luke “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.” It’s horrible, but that’s just scratching the surface of the ways Sebert told Billboard Luke controlled and abused her daughter, which she says also exacerbated Kesha’s bulimia.

Billboard also writes that Wednesday’s report alleging that Luke will be dropped from Sony before his contract is up in 2017 are still unsubstantiated by Sony, who refused to comment (and Luke’s lawyer denied it).


Contact the author at

Image via Getty



My heart bleeds for Kesha. Fuck that guy. I can only hope that the house of cards is truly and fully tumbling down on him now.

I keep thinking of all the people out there saying “why didn’t she report it back then” and it just infuriates me that it is always from people who have absolutely no idea what it is like to be sexually assaulted, to be violated in that manner - especially by someone who is in control of your success. It is already such a terrible situation and mentally devastating, and then to have it be by someone in a position of power over you? I have been a victim in both scenarios - raped while around the same age she was; and as an adult, I had my boss physically and verbally try to pressure me into sex - and they were both incredibly hard for me to deal with - but combined? I honestly can’t even imagine. I obviously don’t know Kesha, but I’m very proud of her and thankful to her for her strength, to fight him publicly like this.