Kesha, the pop star best known for dance tracks about drinking and partying such as her 2009 debut single "Tik Tok," has spent two years away from the recording studio, a period in which she completed rehabilitation treatment for bulimia, an eating disorder which she said was brought on in part by verbal abuse from the superstar music producer who launched her career when she was just 18 years old.
Now, in a lawsuit against her former mentor, 27-year-old Kesha — a Los Angeles native whose full name is Kesha Rose Sebert — the pop star accuses A-list producer Lukasz Gottwald, known professionally as "Dr. Luke," of far worse — including assault and rape.
Earlier this year, Kesha, who formerly spelled her name "Ke$ha" but reverted back to its original spelling after she completed her rehab stint, accused Dr. Luke of repeatedly insulting her physical appearance, telling her, "You are not that pretty, you are not that talented, you are just lucky to have me," and describing her body as resembling "a fat f*****g refrigerator."
But in the lawsuit — filed in a civil court, meaning that Kesha is not pressing criminal charges — the "We R Who We R" singer accuses Dr. Luke of drugging and sexually assaulting her on multiple occasions.
Dr. Luke signed Kesha to his own record label when she was a teenager and produced her debut album Animal, which featured "Tik Tok," a single that went on to sell 14 million copies.
Dr. Luke has also scored numerous hits as a producer and songwriter for such recording artists as Katy Perry, Pink, Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus, among others.
The Kesha lawsuit against Dr. Luke was dug up by celebrity news site TMZ, which reports that Kesha endured a decade of physical and mental torment while under his control.
In one instance, the lawsuit alleges, Gotwtald gave his protege what he called "sober pills" after a night of alcohol consumption, in which she claims he forced her to partake.
The so-called sober pills were actually the date rape drug GHB, the lawsuit states, and Kesha woke up naked the next afternoon in Gottwald's hotel bed, feeling "sore" and unable to recall any of the events leading up to that moment.
She then called her mother, according to a New York Daily News account, and said that Dr. Luke had raped her. In another instance alleged in the suit, Kesha says that Gottwald forced her to inhale a drug through her nose before plane ride, and then sexually assaulted her while she was incapacitated by the drug.
Kesha says that she feared for her life due to Gottwald's threats against her and her family, and in one case he became so violent when the two were at Dr. Luke's Malibu home that Kesha ran barefoot from the house, fleeing down the Pacfic Coast Highway and cowering the the nearby woods.
Neither Dr. Luke nor his representatives have offered a response to the lawsuit and when a reporter from The New York Daily News called Gottwald's office to ask about the charges by Kesha, a woman on the other end of the phone refused comment.