Dr. Luke reveals 'extortion' e-mail from Kesha's mom in ugly legal battle

Kesha proclaims she's a survivor on March 6 as she rejoins social media after two months in treatment for an eating disorder.

Story highlights

  • Dr. Luke's lawyer: Kesha's complaint "will go down in flames"
  • The singer's lawsuit demands she be freed from her record deal
  • Kesha's lawsuit claims Dr. Luke's control over her could kill her
  • Dr. Luke "hasn't seen Kesha in years," his lawyer says
Dr. Luke's lawyer is going public with details of what the music producer alleges is Kesha's attempt to extort him to get out of her recording contract.
The attorney provided CNN with a segment from an email she contends shows Kesha's mom threatened to make sex accusations public unless her daughter was released from her contract.
Kesha accuses Dr. Luke of sexually, physically and verbally abusing her over the past decade in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that demands she be freed from the contract she signed with him when she was 18.
The harsh accusations in her complaint describe an alleged rape involving Dr. Luke allegedly drugging the singer after a party.
The lawsuit says he used constant verbal insults -- such as calling her "a fat f--king refrigerator" -- "to make her feel completely worthless and maintain complete control over her life."
Continuous criticism about her weight by Dr. Luke caused Kesha, 27, to developed the eating disorder bulimia nervosa, which almost killed her, according to her complaint. To continue under his control is a threat to her life, it contends.
Dr. Luke filed his own lawsuit against Kesha hours after hers was made public Tuesday, accusing the singer of extorting him to gain freedom from her recording contract. His lawyer, Christine Lepera, followed up Thursday with a statement to CNN that said Kesha's lawsuit is "a spectacular and outrageous fiction that will go down in flames."
"As the truth emerges, this sad and misguided smear campaign will only hurt Kesha," Lepera said.
That truth, Lepera said, is that Kesha lawyer Mark Gerago's "real goal is to get out of her contract, rather than vindicate these absurd and defamatory allegations."
Dr. Luke "hasn't seen Kesha in years," Lepera said. "This kind of cynical grandstanding in which false claims of abuse are used as a negotiating tactic insults real victims."
Lepera provided to CNN what she said was part of an email that Kesha's mother sent to Dr. Luke's lawyer a year ago threatening to smear the producer's reputation unless her daughter was freed from her contract:
"Tomorrow I am going to start making public how Dr. Luke blackmailed me into giving him and Circuit publishing credit, on all songs I wrote on warrior, with Kesha and other writers and producers... We, me and kesha and her friends... are going to make all of this Really PUBLIC, in the next few days. Luke date raped Kesha when she was 18. Nicky Hilton's birthday? Paris Hiltons house? Luke gave Kesha pills? She ended up naked in his hotel room 2 days later, no longer a virgin? Do we want all this to come out? either this Luke releases Kesha from all legal contracts, and gives me back all my publishing, or we, Kesha and I. tell the truth."
Geragos responded to Lepera's extortion charge in his own statement to CNN Thursday:
"It is telling that Dr. Luke would twist an email from a horrified and justifiably angry mother threatening to tell the truth -- the truth! -- about the predator that sexually assaulted her daughter. It is offensive -- but not surprising -- that Dr. Luke would try and pervert the words of a concerned mother to try and keep Kesha under his unilateral control against her will."
Kesha, whose full name is Kesha Rose Sebert, was "an intelligent, family-oriented and joyful young woman" before Dr. Luke "showered her with promises of fame and fortune" and induced her to sign a contract with him in 2005, her lawsuit said.
Instead of living a life of Hollywood glamor, she "lived in a prison of his abuse," the lawsuit said.
Her complaint accuses him of giving her a "date rape drug" that allowed him to sexually assault her while she was unconscious.
The abuse didn't end after her debut album sold more than a million copies in the United States in 2010, her complaint said.
"For the past 10 years, Dr. Luke has sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally abused" her "to the point where Ms. Sebert nearly lost her life," it said.
Her doctors concluded that the "unrelenting emotional and psychological abuse" by Dr. Luke caused her to suffer "severe depression, post-traumatic stress, social isolation, and panic attacks." Continuing contact with him "would be 'life threatening,'" the lawsuit said.
Geragos said her lawsuit "is a wholehearted effort by Kesha to regain control of her music career and her personal freedom after suffering for 10 years as a victim of mental manipulation, emotional abuse and sexual assault at the hands of Dr. Luke."
"The facts presented in our lawsuit paint a picture of a man who is controlling and willing to commit horrible acts of abuse in an attempt to intimidate an impressionable, talented, young female artist into submission for his personal gain. Kesha is focused on moving her life and her career beyond this terrible time," Geragos said.