Dr. Luke Releases New Emails to Counter Kesha Abuse Claims

Messages between managers, personal assistant include exchanges about singer's weight, behavior

Dr. Luke's legal team released new emails from Kesha's management in an attempt to counter the singer's claims of abuse against the producer. Credit: Roy Rochlin/Getty

Dr. Luke filed new court documents containing email exchanges between Kesha's managers and personal assistant in an effort to counter a batch of emails the pop star's team released last week that potentially added credibility to her claims that the producer was psychologically abusive.

Both sets of emails come as Kesha hopes a judge will consider shifting last year's ruling that she cannot terminate her contract with Dr. Luke.

Representatives for Kesha and Dr. Luke declined to comment.

The original set of emails contained multiple exchanges concerning the singer's weight, such as a message from Dr. Luke (aka Lukasz Gottwald) to Kesha's manager, Monica Cornia, on June 28th, 2012, in which the producer allegedly referenced a discussion about "how [Kesha] can be more disciplined with her diet." In another email, Gottwald allegedly wrote that "A-list songwriters and producers are reluctant to give Kesha their songs because of her weight."

In a new legal filing obtained by Rolling Stone, however, Gottwald's lawyers say the emails "purposefully misrepresent the truth" and "do not remotely reflect any 'abuse' by [Gottwald], or any other type of behavior that could ever justify voiding her contracts." The motion goes on to claim, "Kesha and her managers know full well that they are mischaracterizing this conduct as 'abuse' because Kesha, her managers, and others in Kesha's life, frequently discussed her weight and dieting practices – and not in the most flattering of terms."

The emails submitted as evidence include a March 12th, 2012 exchange between Cornia and Kesha's personal assistant, Tessa Schonder, about creating a meal plan for the singer. In a July 9th, 2015 e-mail, another manager, Nicki Loranger, suggests Kesha's team "must get her working out again, sticking to a meal plan, discussing with her nutritionist the best ways to discuss weight gain or possibly her returning to rehab for a 'Tune up.'"

Dr. Luke's team also submitted emails from members of Kesha's team that included complaints about the pop star's behavior, such as "she really sounds like someone who is doing drugs. soo erratic" (from Vector Management's Jack Rovner, June 20th, 2010) and "just know that she is crazy," (from Vector Management's Ken Levitan, May 31st, 2010).

Elsewhere, the motion accused Kesha's team of not submitting an e-mail in which Gottwald "complemented Kesha on her appearance when she voiced concerns about it." In that note, dated January 29th, 2010, Dr. Luke wrote, "I know you said you looked like a lesbo but I disagree – you looked radiant and beautiful. You're doing exactly what you're meant to be doing right now. You're actualizing your dreams. I'm proud of you and love you very much!"

The new filing also attempted to downplay a dispute over the lyrics to Kesha's 2012 single "Crazy Kids." After the singer pushed for using an alternate line, an email from the first batch included a note claiming that Gottwald said, "I don't give a shit what you want. If you were smart you would go in and sing it."

Dr. Luke's motion, however, alleges "This self-serving and false characterization intentionally omits the highly relevant fact that Gottwald asked a prominent third-party writer to provide alternative lyrics – specifically to address Kesha's concerns."

Along with the slew of emails, Gottwald's new motion also included a rebuttal against Kesha's lawyers' attempts to use California's so-called "seven year rule" in a New York court via a "choice-of-law" provision. The California law states that a court can't enforce a personal service contract after seven calendar years from when the deal began, but Gottwald's lawyers claim the "choice-of-law" provision is not applicable in this case because Kesha's team "has not demonstrated and cannot demonstrate that California has a 'materially greater interest' in this dispute than New York."