In early January, 2014, multi-platinum pop star Kesha (“Tik Tok”, “Animal”, “C’mon”, “Die Young,” etc) entered herself into a treatment center to deal with her anorexia and bulimia. At the time, Kesha via her outspoken mother Pebe Sebert, blamed Kesha’s body image problems on criticism from her label head/producer Dr. Luke. After spending 2 months in rehab (with mom Pebe checking in as well to be with her daughter and get treatment for “post-traumatic stress”), Kesha was released and posted online that she’s back to making music. But today, she dropped a bombshell lawsuit, accusing Dr. Luke of nearly 10 years of abuse, ranging from sexual assault to forced drug use to battery. Much more serious than the original fat-shaming claims.

Update: Dr. Luke has responded with his own lawsuit…charging Kesha with extortion.
More after the jump…

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TMZ reports:

In one instance, Kesha claims he forced her to snort something before getting on a plane … and during the trip he forced himself on her while she was drugged.

On another occasion, Kesha claims after forcing her to drink with him, Dr. Luke gave her what he called “sober pills.” Kesha claims she woke up the following afternoon, naked in Dr. Luke’s bed, sore, sick … and with no memory of how she got there.

Kesha says the alleged abuse led to her eating disorder — a story TMZ broke earlier this year.  She claims Dr. Luke said, among other things, “You are not that pretty, you are not that talented, you are just lucky to have me.”  As we reported, she claims he called her “a fat f***ing refrigerator.”

Kesha also says there was physical abuse … once she says he attacked her at his Malibu house where he was “violently thrashing his arms at her.”  She says she escaped and ran barefoot down PCH and hid in the mountains.

Kesha is asking a judge to let her out of her contract with Luke.

Now that last part seems very key…Because even Kesha’s lawyer Mark Geragos reiterated that “This lawsuit is a wholehearted effort by Kesha to regain control of her music career and her personal freedom after suffering for ten years as a victim of mental manipulation, emotional abuse and an instance of sexual assault at the hands of Dr. Luke.” Career control, not justice for sex crimes? Mind you, there seems to have been career control issues for at least 2 years.


Update: Dr. Luke is countersuing Kesha with a quickness. Claiming that the singer, directed by her mom, is extorting him to get out of her Kemosabe Records deal.

in Luke’s lawsuit … he says the pack of lies is being engineered by Kesha’s mother, Pebe, and Kesha’s new management firm. Luke claims Kesha tried to extort him by threatening to spread lies about him to a blogger who started a “Free Kesha” website unless he released her from her recording contract.

And Luke says in his lawsuit he’s had a copy of a draft of Kesha’s new abuse lawsuit for months, and she was threatening to file it if he didn’t release her. In other words, he’s alleging more extortion.

Luke’s lawyer, Christine Lepera, tells TMZ, Kesha’s lawsuit about abuse is part of “a campaign of publishing outrageous and untrue statements,” calling the allegations scurrilous.

Lepera says Kesha and her mom have already admitted the statements are false.

The ugliness continues, but here are some context notes to think about…

Working together, over the course of 8 years, Kesha and Luke have reportedly sold 59 million singles worldwide. But despite the enormous success, back in January, Kesha’s mom Pebe Sebert told People Magazine that Dr. Luke and former manager David Sonenberg bullied the singer about her fluctuating weight, forcing her into a cycle of dieting and bulimia. Dr. Luke, who has also produced and written for Katy Perry (“I Kissed A Girl”), Kelly Clarkson (“Since You Been Gone”) and more, denied the claims. He released this statement: “It is unfortunate that at a time Ke$ha is suffering immensely and trying to heal at a treatment center, her mother is taking this approach with the mediaI give Ke$ha my utmost support and well wishes for a quick return to health.

The severity of this lawsuit is undeniable…the idea that Kesha was coerced into drug use, and then raped while incapacitated is terrifying. Those are the actions of a sex predator/sociopath not an insensitive over-controlling svengali. So the idea that the priority is freedom seems strange. Even without the new lawsuit, the idea of fat-shaming brings up interesting questions about the nature of showbiz in general. Is it realistic to expect label execs, managers, producers (both male or female) not making caustic remarks about a star’s appearance? Of course it’s hurtful and harmful, but on the flip side…can a singer like Kesha, or Katy or Pink…succeed on the same level if they don’t care about their weight? Sadly, I don’t think we’re really there yet as an openminded fan base. How has it been different for Adele, since she seems to have positive body image? Does being a “serious” balladeer, vocal powerhouse, protected her from the more superficial demands we put on dance stars or pop stars? Or is it just the power of her own self-assured personality?

Buzzfeed posted this unreleased Kesha song, “Dancing With The Devil,” that is allegedly about being unhappy in her dealings with Dr. Luke.

New Music: Kesha Feat. Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa & Becky G. “Die Young (Remix)”
New Music: Ke$ha Feat. Wiz Khalifa, André 3000, T.I. & Lil’ Wayne “Sleazy Remix 2.0 (Get Sleazier)”
New Music: Ke$ha feat. B.o.B. “Blow (Remix)”
New Music: Britney Spears feat. Nicki Minaj & Ke$ha “Till The World Ends (The Femme Fatale Remix)”