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Kesha’s mom tells her side of the story in new interview: “She was a prisoner”

Sebert sits next to her daughter in a Manhattan court on February 19. (Photo: Getty Images)

Add this to the pile of negative press that could motivate Sony Music to stop working with hitmaker and alleged abuser Dr. Luke: Kesha’s mother, Rosemary Patricia “Pebe” Sebert, has shared her side of the story with Billboard in an extended piece on her daughter’s legal battle with Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald. (Kesha herself declined to comment for the story.) According to Sebert, Kesha’s relationship with the producer became abusive almost immediately; in the interview, she details a purported incident where he daughter called her and told her, “I think I need to go to the hospital,” the morning after Dr. Luke allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her after a party in 2005. “Looking back, I don’t know why we didn’t go to the police,” Sebert says. “Kesha told me not to do anything. She said, ‘Mom, I just want to sing. I don’t want to be a rape-case victim. I just want to get my music out.’ I didn’t follow my instincts.”

And according to Sebert, as Kesha’s career took off, Luke became even more ”hateful,” jealous, and controlling. “She thought all her dreams were finally coming true, but this was just a fucking trip to hell,” she says. It wasn’t until Kesha and her mother went to rehab— Kesha for an eating disorder, her mother for alcoholism—in 2014 that the two underwent the therapy that allowed Kesha to file her lawsuit and speak publicly about Dr. Luke. She “was genuinely scared,” Sebert says, adding, “Luke almost destroyed us. And he has done it intentionally.”

In response to Sebert’s claims, Sony Music tells Billboard it previously conducted an internal investigation that turned up no evidence of the 2005 assault she discusses in the interview. And, as we’ve previously reported, Dr. Luke has categorically denied all the charges. However the situation turns out, Kesha’s case is shedding new light on a rarely discussed aspect of the music business—namely, its treatment of vulnerable young aspiring stars—as Billboard’s piece points out. And Sebert says speaking out has been beneficial for her daughter: “She wasn’t comfortable with having to do this, but I think she realized as this thing progressed that she can advocate for sexual abuse or other things,” she says. “The fact that she is at peace with that has really been healing.”

The full interview can be read over at Billboard.

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