After Kesha came out with some serious allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse against longtime producer and label head Dr. Luke earlier this week, the 41-year-old Grammy-winning track maker to the stars hit back with his own claims that the singer and her mother were allegedly trying to blackmail him.
Both sides quickly dug in their heels, with Luke's lawyer saying that Kesha's "campaign of publishing outrageous and untrue statements" about her client -- including allegations that he bullied and sexually and physically assaulted her -- were part of a pattern by the 27-year-old singer's camp to smear Luke's name (born Lukasz Gottwald) in an effort to get released from a recording contract.
Why haven't we heard about the allegations before?
According to a TMZ report, when Kesha went to rehab for an eating disorder in January, she began "spontaneously" telling her doctors about the alleged abuse at Dr. Luke's hands. A source said the doctors took notes that may become evidence in her lawsuit and they instructed her to stay as far away from the producer as possible.
The unnamed sources also explained that Kesha never went to police about the alleged sexual and physical assaults because she was suffering from a form of Stockholm Syndrome after being connected to Luke for more than eight years and had lost her "free will" to cut him out of her life.
Luke's rep called the statement false, noting that "these are just the latest in a series of bizarre public statements and actions by Kesha and her mother over the years, [along the lines of Kesha's] claim that her vagina is 'haunted,' her [admitting] to drinking her own urine on her [MTV] reality show, and her mother dressing up as a penis on the television show."
Dr. Luke's lawyer hints that her client may have a potential bombshell of his own.
On Thursday, MTV News obtained a statement from Christine Lepera, Luke's attorney, in which she dubbed the lawsuit a "spectacular and outrageous fiction that will go down in flames."
The letter also said this is allegedly not the first time that Kesha and her mother, Pebe Sebert, have "threatened Luke with an extortionist scheme to ruin his reputation publicly unless he let her out of her contract." Lepera claims that they launched a similar attempt several years ago and that Kesha's lawyer, prominent Hollywood attorney Mark Geragos, acknowledged this week that the singer's real goal is to get out of her contract with Luke.
"This kind of cynical grandstanding in which false claims of abuse are used as a negotiating tactic insults real victims," she wrote.
Lepera once again refuted Pebe Sebert's claim that Luke raped Kesha when the singer was 18, promising it will be apparent "when the record in another action is revealed and Kesha is confronted with evidence of her own current lie"; Lepera declined to give details of that other alleged incident. She also revealed that Luke's legal team has been holding back on filing its own lawsuit while settlement talks have been going on for the past year based on Kesha and her mother's "new threats" to get out of her contract.
"Our lawsuit is based upon the most recent extortion scheme against Luke, which started over a year ago, both verbally and in writing."
Did Kesha's mom really threaten Dr. Luke?
In her letter, Lepera cites an email from October 29, 2013, in which Pebe Sebert allegedly wrote, "Tomorrow I am going to start making public how Dr. Luke blackmailed me into giving him and [his publishing company] Circuit publishing credit, on all songs I wrote on [the album 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."
That email also reportedly included the allegation that Luke date-raped a then-18-year-old Kesha at Nicky Hilton's birthday party and Paris Hilton's house and that he gave her pills. "She ended up naked in his hotel room 2 days later, no longer a virgin? Do we want all this to come out?" the email allegedly read. "Either this Luke releases Kesha from all legal contracts, and gives me back all my publishing, or we, Kesha and I. tell the truth. And if I wind up dead, TRUST ME, IT'S IN WRITING TO CALL YOU AND LUKE."
Geragos could not be reached for comment on Lepera's letter. Meanwhile, Kesha's fans have continued to voice their support using the #freekesha hashtag.
What, exactly, is Kesha claiming her lawsuit?
The California complaint against Luke and his various businesses seeks damages for: sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, civil harassment, violation of California's unfair business laws, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and negligent retention and supervision.
Click here to see a copy of the lawsuit.
It claims that for the past decade Luke has "sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally" abused Kesha in order to "destroy her self-confidence, self-image and self-worth so that he could maintain complete control over her life and career." The suit says that after pursuing then 18-year-old Kesha and signing her, the married producer promptly ignored her in favor of other artists and boasted and bragged in front of her about his sexual conquests.
Along with allegations that Luke "continuously made sexual advances" toward Kesha, the suit claims that the producer "repeatedly threatened that if she ever told anyone about these abusive incidents, he would destroy both Ms. Sebert and her family." As a result of the alleged bullying of Kesha about her weight, the suit claims that the singer had such low blood pressure and sodium levels tied to bulimia that they were similar to "levels found in patients following a heart attack or stroke."
The suit seeks damages and a release from all contracts with Dr. Luke.