November 26, 2016
The pop singer Kesha recently talked about the effects of her alleged sexual assault in a profile with The New York Times. She has previously discussed her claims against music producer Dr. Luke (aka Lukasz Gottwald), but now the singer is even more open about her claims.
Kesha tells Bustle that alleged victims have a hard time voicing their claims. “As you grow up and you grow awareness, some say ignorance is bliss, and in some ways, it is, but once you realize and you gain knowledge, it’s there, and you can’t deny it,” she told the Times. “And now I’m very much aware of things that I wasn’t before, and it keeps me more accountable for my actions.”
The 29-year-old singer first alleged sexual assault and emotional abuse against Dr. Luke in October 2014. She sued the producer, and he then filed a countersuit for defamation. His lawyers claimed that she was extorting him in an attempt to be released from her exclusive recording agreement with him.
Kesha dropped her sexual assault case in California against him in August, and a judge dismissed her sexual abuse claims against Dr. Luke in New York in April. However, the appeals are continuing with that case.
In light of the fact that Kesha claims Dr. Luke sexually assaulted way back in 2005, some wonder why she waited nine years to speak up about the sexual assault allegations. However, it’s not unusual for alleged sexual assault victims to be silent or to wait to ask for help. RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) explains that there are many reasons why victims don’t report sexual assault. Between 2005 and 2010, 20% of survivors said they feared retaliation, and 13% thought the police wouldn’t help them. RAINN also reports that 33% of women who are raped contemplate suicide, and 13% of women who are raped in fact attempt suicide—a thought that Kesha spoke about in The New York Times profile. In the same vein, she checked herself into a treatment facility for an eating disorder in January 2014, adding that this illness was a result of Dr. Luke allegedly criticizing her weight.
“I was under immense pressure to starve myself,” she said in the article. “And I tried to and almost killed myself in the process.”
In October 2014, BuzzFeed discovered that Kesha had discussed her abuse claims in letters written to fans while she was in treatment, nine months before she filed her lawsuit against Dr. Luke. She also posted on Instagram after her New York Times profile went live. With a photo from the profile, she added a lengthy caption that highlights how she’s felt that her voice has been silenced for too long:
“Thank you to the New York Times for shedding light on my life and legal situation. There’s nothing harder than dreaming and working and fighting for something your whole entire life, since you were 3 years old, since you could speak, and when you FINALLY achieve it, someone else takes it away from you. My heart has a giant hole in it and is literally aching and throbbing from sadness and loss. Imagine someone owning your voice… and not letting you sing. Singing is how I have dealt with everything in my life and my right has been taken away.”
Dr. Luke’s lawyer responded that the Times profile contained inaccuracies, adding that it was part of “a continuing coordinated press campaign by Kesha to mislead the public, mischaracterize what has transpired over the last two years, and gain unwarranted sympathy.”
With the sexual assault and emotional abuse claims against Dr. Luke, Kesha tried to break her contract with the producer, but a judge ruled that wasn’t an option. But the music producer’s lawyer released a statement to Rolling Stone which stated that Kesha was already “free” to record and release music without working with Dr. Luke as a producer if she didn’t want to. The lawyer called her claim that she wasn’t able to do so “a myth.” Sony told The New York Times in February that it had arranged for Kesha to record “without any connection, involvement or interaction with Luke whatsoever,” but that it wasn’t in a position to terminate the contract between the parties.
Whether a pop superstar or a student at school, sexual assault and emotional abuse can cause severe and lasting injury. It may take time to come forward, and at the Cifarelli Law Firm, we make it our mission to hold the perpetrators of sexual abuse accountable for their actions. The compensation we have been able to obtain for our victims will never replace what was lost, but it will help pave the road to recovery.
To schedule a free initial consultation with us today, we welcome your call at (949) 502-8600