by Samantha Schnurr | Thu., Mar. 10, 2016 1:57 PM
"Dr. Luke almost destroyed us," the 59-year-old singer-songwriter told Billboard outright. "He has done it intentionally."
Her daughter's ongoing legal battle with producer Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald, most commonly known as Dr. Luke, is a hot topic in the country's current pop culture conversation. Following two months in rehab for bulimia treatment and a two-year hiatus from releasing new music, the pop star filed a lawsuit against Luke in October 2014 alleging he had sexually assaulted her, drugged her and emotionally abused her throughout their professional relationship with request for release from her contract with Kemosabe Records, Luke's record label under Sony Music—claims which Luke has denied.
The general public has been embroiled in every update of the case since a tear-stricken Kesha sat in a Manhattan Supreme Court room while her request for a preliminary injunction to allow her to release music outside of her contract with Luke and Sony was denied.
While the case is currently in its discovery period and a trial is not expected to begin until 2017, Justice Shirley Kornreich, who presided over the case in February, said Kesha would not have to interact with her accused abuser in fulfilling her contract while the case is still under way.
Scott A. Edelman, an attorney representing Sony, told E! News, "Sony has made it possible for Kesha to record without any connection, involvement or interaction with Luke whatsoever, but Sony is not in a position to terminate the contractual relationship between Luke and Kesha."
Sebert claims Luke still maintains a level of underlying control.
"Kesha's allowed to work with another producer," Pebe told Billboard. "But Luke gets to approve them. He gets to approve of anyone she works with. He has final say over everything."
Jefferson Siegel/NY Daily News via Getty Images
That professional control proves weary when faced with Sebert's serious allegations against the Grammy-winning executive on behalf of her daughter.
"She was a prisoner," Sebert said. "It was like someone who beats you every day and hangs you from a chain and then comes in and gives you a piece of bread. Luke would say, 'You look nice today,' and send her into hysterics of happiness because she was programmed to expect nothing but abuse."
According to an affidavit filed in 2015, the alleged abuse began at a party that both attended.
"Upon leaving the club he gave to me, and told me to take, what he referred to as a 'sober pill.' I remember only a little after this, just moments, but what I do very much remember was waking up naked in his bed, feeling like I was going to die. I couldn't keep down water and I didn't know where I was or where my clothes were," Kesha said in the affidavit. "I remember calling my mom and telling her I needed to go to the hospital."
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
"I wanted Kesha to come forward a long time ago and end this relationship with Dr. Luke immediately after the [alleged] rape," Pebe said. "But if she wanted to have a shot at the music business, she had no choice but [to work with him]."
"Looking back, I don't know why we didn't go to the police," she continued. "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."
Instead, six years after the alleged incident at the party, both women vehemently denied any sexual contact or drugging between Dr. Luke and Kesha in a deposition taken for a separate lawsuit.
"As Dr. Luke has said repeatedly, the allegations Kesha and her counsel have made against him are outright lies as evidenced by the unambiguous sworn testimony Kesha and her mother provided in 2011," Dr. Luke's attorney Christine Lepera said in a statement. "Any claim of duress in connection with that testimony is simply absurd."
Today, Kesha and her lawyer claim the deposition was a result of threats from Dr. Luke.
"I specifically remember him telling me that if I ever tried to get away from him for any reason that he would tie me up in litigation until my career was over," Kesha said in the 2015 affidavit. "He made it very clear to me and my mom that he owned me and there was nothing I could do about it."
Dr. Luke has continuously denied all of Kesha's allegations, stating on Twitter, "I didn't rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her. Kesha and I were friends for many years and she was like my little sister."
After the injunction ruling, Lepera said, "We remain confident that when all the facts are presented that [Kesha's] allegations against Luke will be shown to be completely false and were asserted solely to extort money and gain contractual leverage."
Sebert's memories paint a different picture of the man responsible for hits like "I Kissed a Girl," "Behind Those Hazel Eyes" and "Wrecking Ball." "Kesha would tell me she was going to take her car to Mulholland and drive off the cliff. She was a little dramatic, but I never knew for sure," the mom recounted.
Following a fight with Dr. Luke and attaining new manager, the "Tik Tok" singer was in the midst of signing a record deal with Warner Bros., but it allegedly came to a halt when Dr. Luke called to say Kesha was already under contract with him.
As Pebe described, Kesha called her saying, "Dr. Luke just called me and I have 24 hours to fire my lawyer and my managers and go back with him. Anytime I get a contract, he's going to come forward and basically say he owns me. What do I do?"
In response to Sebert's claims, Lepera wrote in a statement, "At the behest of Kesha's mother Pebe, Luke did numerous favors to advance the careers of Kesha's siblings as well as Pebe herself. Indeed, Pebe acknowledged Luke's generosity and expressed her warmth toward him in private correspondence when she wrote 'You are part of our family, and I hope you know, as much as you have been there for Kesha and me, that we will always be there for you, as family, and friends, if you need anything,' 'You have changed our lives forever" and 'I know you are going to be a great dad.' No mother would make such statements about someone who had raped her daughter—the purported rape never happened. Once Kesha and her mother became disenchanted with her financial and creative business terms and wanted yet another new deal, the extortion began, with Kesha's mother claiming that she would make public allegations of sexual assault against Luke unless he 'releases Kesha from all legal contracts, and gives me back all my publishing.'"
While the singer has until next year for the case to officially go to trial, she has the public support of many of the industry's brightest female stars, including Lady Gaga, Adele and Taylor Swift , who pledged a $250,000 donation in support of the star.
"It was really random," Pebe said about Swift's offer. "Kesha was like, 'Are you sure it's not some scammer?' And then she said, 'I would be honored if she wants to do that.'"
Regardless of the outcome, Kesha's story has evolved into a public call for help on behalf of afflicted women everywhere.
"She wasn't comfortable with having to do this, but I think she realized as this thing progressed that she can advocate for sexual abuse or other things," Sebert concluded. "The fact that she is at peace with that has really been healing."
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