Kesha’s legal battle against her former producer and alleged abuser Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald is well-documented, but in a new interview, Kesha’s mother, Pebe Sebert, goes into harrowing detail about her daughter’s relationship with Dr. Luke.
"She was a prisoner," Sebert tells Billboard of Kesha’s time with Dr. Luke on his Kemosabe Record imprint. "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."
Sebert also details the alleged rape that occurred following an October 2005 party, in which Dr. Luke allegedly drugged Kesha and took to back to his hotel room. The singer’s mother recalls her frantic cry the following day: "Mom, I don't know where I am. I think we had sex. I'm sore and sick. I don't know where my clothes are. I think I need to go to the hospital," she said.
Once “TiK ToK” was released as Kesha’s debut single and the pop singer became a star, Dr. Luke apparently became only more intense, and tried to drive a wedge between Kesha and her mother. "This is when Luke started getting really hateful," Sebert says. "He 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."
Last month, Kesha was denied an injunction that would have allowed her to record outside of her contract. Artists like Adele, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande voiced their support for the singer, and Taylor Swift donated $250,000 to her cause.
"It was really random," says Sebert about Swift’s donation. "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.'"