Back when I was in college I loved pop-dance music. I’m talking about the kind of music that makes you want to belt out and dance around to it when you’re home alone, or crank the volume up in your car until your ears bleed! I’ve personally felt very disheartened for a favorite artist of this genre because she disappeared from the music scene due to legal issues. Sure the usual contractual stuff has been thrown into the legal mix, but sadly for Kesha it’s so much more. Kesha has claimed that she was verbally, physically, and sexually abused by her producer/mentor, Dr. Luke (real name Lukasz Gottwald), and we need to talk about this.
Before I get into the details of Kesha’s legal drama, I want to remind readers that my thoughts on Kesha’s current situation are a personal opinion. I don’t have any experience with the law and I’m not a lawyer. However, I’m a people person, so I want to tell you a little bit about the awesomeness that is Kesha.
Formally stylized Ke$ha, she showed up on people’s radars as the vocalist to Flo Rida’s number one hit “Right Round.” Multiple offers for album deals came in following the Flo Rida hit, and Kesha signed a record deal with Dr. Luke and RCA Records in 2009. In 2010 Kesha’s first single “Tik Tok” blew up the charts and her first album “Animal” debuted at number one. She released “Cannibal,” another number one album shortly after, and she had more smash hits like “We R Who We R.” If that wasn’t enough success, she also co-write Britney Spear’s song “Till the World Ends” and her first headlining tour “Get Sleazy” sold out immediately in the US. Kesha’s career clearly started off strong, but what people didn’t know was that things were terribly wrong for her on a personal level. Kesha’s private issues eventually resulted in the current lawsuit against her producer Dr. Luke.
Kesha is fighting to be released form her recording contract with Dr. Luke because she is desperate to sever ties with the man that allegedly abused her. The ruling in her lawsuit is scheduled to finally occur this week, on February 19, 2016. I think we all need to keep her in our thoughts, because sadly I believe Kesha’s claims. Again, these are my opinions, but I think that Dr. Luke abused her and we need to talk about her struggle. We need to empower more victims of abuse and let them know that they are not alone in their fight.
I obviously don’t know Kesha personally, but I feel so much for her. I feel angry that she had to endure so much pain, I feel sad that she ended up in rehab, but most importantly, I feel proud of her for getting help and for being strong. Kesha is not acting as a victim. By fighting her legal battle she is inadvertently spreading awareness about abuse. I believe Kesha because you can clearly see common signs of abuse within the allegations of her lawsuit, which is why need to talk about it.
Specifically, Kesha alleges within the lawsuit that Dr. Luke coerced her to take drugs and repeatedly made sexual advances. He also reportedly provided “sober pills,” which were actually GHB (also known as the date rape drug). Kesha claims there was one afternoon where she “woke up naked in Dr. Luke’s bed, sore and sick, and she had no memory of how she got there.” Further, as if matters couldn’t get any worse, Dr. Luke reportedly threated Kesha repeatedly. He indicated that if she went public with any of her abuse claims that he would ruin her and her career by taking away the publishing and recording rights for her music.
From my perspective, the threats reportedly made by Dr. Luke seem plausible. This man has real power over Kesha’s music career, and this power differential likely explains why Kesha remained quite about the abuse for so long. She was truly afraid of the damage he might cause. Fear is the first reason for why I believe Kesha’s claims because this fear of the abuser is a very common issue for victims of abuse. There is constant anxiety that the abuser might lash out in one way or another to hurt you or a family member. I can only imagine how scared Kesha felt at the prospect that Dr. Luke could potentially try to take away a career that she worked so hard to create.
Control is another common issue within abusive relationship. According to the lawsuit, Dr. Luke reportedly attempted to destroy Kesha self-confidence as a means of control. The lawsuit claims that Dr. Luke criticized Kesha’s weight in front of other people to humiliate her. Further, he insulted Kesha with comments like: “you are not that pretty, you are not that talented, you are just lucky to have me;” “there are a million other girls out there like you;” and “you are nothing without me.”
I believe that Dr. Luke emotionally abused Kesha because she wasn’t lying and he needed to keep her quiet. I think he wanted to avoid public questions and scrutiny, so he slowly chipped away at Kesha’s self-worth to maintain control. No one should ever have his or her weight publically discussed, or his or her value questioned. I can’t imagine how that feels, but thankfully, Kesha was strong enough to know that she needed help.
In 2014 Kesha entered a rehab facility for an eating disorder. She was struggling with bulimia nervosa, which is a potentially life-threatening condition characterized by binge eating food and then engaging in self-induced vomiting to compensate for over eating. The doctors at Kesha’s rehab facility reportedly advised her to end her relationship with Dr. Luke, and thus the legal battle began. Kesha was contractually obligated to work with her reported abuser, so she began to fight and openly share her secrets and struggles.
Regardless of the outcome of Kesha’s current legal troubles, I am in awe of her. I liked Kesha before knowing about her personal issues, but now I legitimately admire her. Her battle to not be the victim is incredible, especially when you consider that she’s been fighting for independence from her toxic relationship with Dr. Luke for two years. All in all, I hope that people can look past the glitter and crazy outfits to acknowledge that Kesha is not only an incredible talent, but she is also an amazing person. I appreciate you Kesha and I believe in you.