Newly unsealed documents in Kesha’s ongoing legal battle with Dr. Luke show that Lady Gaga stood firm in her support of Kesha during a September 2017 deposition.
Before the deposition began, Gaga’s lawyer stated that his client (referred to by her birth name, Stefani Germanotta) had a “clear recollection” of her relationship with Kesha and was prepared to testify, but reminded everyone in the room that she was a survivor of sexual abuse and testifying “has proved to be a trigger event” for her. “[S]he has experienced in the past few hours some PTSD reactions which is causing some trauma and emotional reactivity,” he said. “So she is crying now the record will reflect.”
At one point, Gaga recalled a personal meeting she had with Kesha, and was asked if the two discussed Kesha’s alleged rape then. Gaga said she could not remember, but that the exchange was “emotional”:
What we discussed was what I recall was her immense sadness and depression and fear. She was visibly very different than when I had seen her before, and — but I can’t say specifically what exactly we spoke about. I just recall that it was emotional, and I wanted to be there for her.
Gaga was also asked what details Kesha had told her about the alleged rape:
she told me that he used power and manipulation in some fashion or some type of verbiage. I am not repeating exactly the words that came out of her mouth, but that he used power and manipulation to control her, and that she had been given a happy pill, that he offered her something and that she took it, and that she woke up and didn’t remember, and that’s what she told me
Later on, Gaga was asked if she believes rape accusations are “very serious” and “horribly damaging.” After objections from Kesha’s lawyer, who was also present, Gaga was eventually asked what she thought the effect of Kesha’s allegations against Dr. Luke were (her response indicated by “A.”):
Q. You would agree with me, wouldn’t you, that Mr. Gottwald’s reputation has been bruised by virtue of the allegations against him?
MR. SNYDER: Objection. Asked and answered.
MR. PEARL: Objection. Vague and ambiguous. Lacks foundation.
MR. SNYDER: You can answer again.
A. Reputation, if you are asking about his reputation in the world, I don’t feel at liberty to speak for the entire world. So if you are asking what my view is of his reputation, I made my view of him and his reputation when I saw her in that back room. That was an image that — of something that happened to me, and I felt and knew in my heart that she was telling the truth, andI believe her.
She went on, adding why she believes survivors do not come forward in the entertainment industry:
And when this happens in this industry, it is kept extremely secret, and it is compounded by contracts and manipulative power scenarios that actually include this very situation that we are all in right now.
When Dr. Luke’s lawyer pressed Gaga on whether she believes false rape accusations happen, and on whether, apart from her belief of Kesha, she knows “the facts of what happened,” Gaga responded:
Oh, I have factual knowledge of her depression. I have factual knowledge of her need for support and love. I have factual knowledge of the spiral that I watched that girl go down. I have factual knowledge of trauma. I am informed and intelligent about this issue. That girl has experienced serious trauma and she is in the middle of it right now. And you are all a party to it.
Dr. Luke’s lawyer then asked Gaga how she would react if her father had been accused of rape:
Q. The facts of a situation, if someone were to say that your father raped someone and you knew it was false and that person had all these trauma symptoms, okay, and the same ones, perhaps, the same trauma symptoms, but you knew your father didn’t doit.
A. How would I know my father didn’t do it?
Q. Would you automatically believe he did?
A. If my father did it, then he did it.
Q. I understand but would you automatically believe it; would you automatically presume it to be true?
A. I believe her.
Q. I understand.
A. And I know it to be true.
Q. You weren’t there, correct?
Gaga went on, and told Dr. Luke’s lawyer that she ought to be ashamed of herself:
Why on earth would this girl tell the entire world that this happened? Why on earth? Do you know what it’s like for survivors? Do you know what it’s like to tell people? Don’t you roll your eyes at me. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Gaga’s lawyer then called for a recess, and they took a break from questioning.
Update, 3:34 p.m.: Dr. Luke’s legal team released the following statement on Wednesday afternoon:
Being passionate about a topic that concerns us all is admirable. However, Lady Gaga has no knowledge of what happened on the night at issue because she was not there. The actual evidence shows, among other things:
Kesha got kicked out of a party after drinking too much and vomiting. As an act of kindness, Dr. Luke offered to allow her to sleep in his hotel suite, a few blocks away. Kesha slept on the bed in the hotel suite, while Dr. Luke separately slept on the couch. Dr. Luke testified under oath that he did not have any contact with Kesha. Kesha herself admitted under oath that she has absolutely no memory of Dr. Luke even being in the hotel room. Kesha has no memory of Dr. Luke engaging in inappropriate contact with her because it did not happen.