As pop superstar Kesha lobbed a bombshell lawsuit alleging disturbing sexual abuse on the part of her producer, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald was filing his own lawsuit against Kesha, her mother Pebe and her reps at Vector Management.
Dr. Luke’s complaint, filed in New York Supreme Court, paints the dispute as arising out of a repudiation of Kesha’s longstanding record deal.
Kesha and Dr. Luke both agree that in 2005, she was discovered. But whereas Kesha says it was the beginning of a one-sided relationship that would result in rape and devious manipulation, the producer says that he took her from being a complete unknown to the prominent platinum-selling artist that she is today.
Dr. Luke, who has worked with artists like Katy Perry, Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson, says that the terms of Kesha’s exclusive agreement meant that she would engage Dr. Luke for at least six recordings and that he would be provided with a specified percentage of the sales of each recording that he produced. Amendments to the contract were made, but maybe not to Kesha’s full satisfaction.
“As part of the effort to get out of the Gottwald Recording Agreement, Kesha and Pebe have also orchestrated a campaign of publishing false and shocking accusations against Gottwald to extort Plaintiffs into letting Kesha out of the Gottwald Recording Agreement,” states the complaint.
The lawsuit doesn’t mean Kesha’s own lawsuit filed Monday per se, but rather communications in the run-up to the filing of the lawsuit. That includes letters sent by Kesha’s mother in October 2013 that claimed abuse along with threats to send the accusations to a blogger who was running the website Free Kesha.
Dr. Luke’s attorneys say that a third party later saw a “draft complaint” of Kesha’s lawsuit, which Dr. Luke’s side says “contained false and scurrilous accusations,” although that third party wasn’t able to retain it. Dr. Luke’s side tells THR they still haven’t seen it.
His lawsuit doesn’t go into much detail about exactly which statements were false, and how they were made, but it does say that the defendants have published defamatory statements of physical and mental abuse “that Kesha and Pebe have themselves admitted are false.”
Dr. Luke is suing for defamation, plus he’s alleging breach of contract, saying that the terms of the agreement and subsequent amendments are valid. To those at Vector Management, hired by the singer in 2013, he’s asserting tortious interference as part of the firm’s alleged effort to gain a larger share of her profits from records. Dr. Luke is represented by Christine Lepara at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp.
“It’s a despicable thing of what he is doing,” responds Kesha attorney Mark Geragos. “It reminds me of Ray Rice threatening to sue his wife for ruining his career. [Dr. Luke] thinks that because he has got more money than he knows what to do, he can do whatever he wants. Our complaint is accurate and supported by evidence and witnesses.”
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.