In the latest development in music producer Dr. Luke's defamation lawsuit against singer Kesha, recently unsealed testimony from Lady Gaga reveals a passionate argument from the "Bad Romance" singer in defense of Kesha, who sued the producer for allegedly drugging and raping her.
Dr. Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, has denied the 2014 allegations against him and since then sued Kesha for defamation.
Until Tuesday, exactly what Gaga had said during her deposition by Dr. Luke's lawyers was unknown, but the recently published testimony from The Blast shows that the 32-year-old singer pushed back on the line of questioning.
The 2017 deposition began with Gaga's lawyer reminding those in the room that Gaga was a sexual abuse survivor and was struggling with PTSD.
“I just want everyone to understand that, as she has publicly stated in other contexts, as a sex abuse survivor, and I know this from my own personal experience with family members, there are trigger events, and this deposition has proved to be a trigger event for Ms. Germanotta,” her lawyer said of her client.
“She has experienced in the past few hours some PTSD reactions which is causing some trauma and emotional reactivity. So she is crying now the record will reflect,” the lawyer continued, according to the documents.
Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, recalled meeting Kesha, 31, at Dr. Luke's studio, saying that Kesha was in the back wearing only underwear.
“What we discussed was, what I recall was her immense sadness and depression and fear. She was visibly very different than when I had seen her before, and — but I can’t say specifically what we spoke about. I just recall it was emotional and I wanted to be there for her," Gaga said when asked what Kesha told her about the alleged abuse.
When Dr. Luke's lawyers asked how the accusations have affected his reputation, Gaga pushed back.
“Reputation, if you are asking about his reputation in the world, I don’t feel at liberty to speak for the entire world,” she responded according to the deposition transcript. “So if you are asking what my view is of his reputation, I made my view of him and his reputation when I saw her in that back room. That was an image that — of something that happened to me, and I felt and knew in my heart that she was telling the truth, and I believe her.”
Luke’s lawyer then asserted that Gaga had “no personal knowledge or information as to any interaction between him and [Kesha], correct, physical or otherwise.”
“Yes, I do have knowledge,” Gaga responded, according to the transcript. “She told me he assaulted her.”
When asked if she had any details about the alleged assault beyond what Kesha told her, she responded, "Well, you know — when men assault women, they don't invite people over to watch as witnesses. And when this happens in this industry, it is kept extremely secret, and it is compounded by contracts and manipulative power scenarios that actually include this very situation that we are all in right now.”
When Dr. Luke's lawyer suggested Gaga might be naive to false rape accusations, she responded, “You — how about all of the women that are accused of being liars and how she was slut shamed in front of the world, how about that? … You are suggesting that she is lying.”
“I believe it to be true," Gaga said of the alleged assault. "I have factual knowledge of her depression. I have factual knowledge of her need for support and love. I have factual knowledge of the spiral that I watched that girl go down. I have factual knowledge of trauma. I am informed and intelligent about this issue. That girl has experienced serious trauma and she is in the middle of it right now. And you are all a party to it.”
“Why on earth would this girl tell the entire world this happened? Why on earth? Do you know what it’s like for survivors? Do you know what it’s like to tell people? Don’t you roll your eyes at me. You should be ashamed of yourself," the A Star Is Born star concluded.
After Dr. Luke's lawyer denied rolling her eyes, both sides took a brief break from the deposition.
Following the unsealed testimony being made public, Dr. Luke's legal team and attorney Christine Lepera told PEOPLE, “Being passionate about a topic that concerns us all is admirable. However, Lady Gaga has no knowledge of what happened on the night at issue because she was not there.”
“The actual evidence shows, among other things: Kesha got kicked out of a party after drinking too much and vomiting. As an act of kindness, Dr. Luke offered to allow her to sleep in his hotel suite, a few blocks away. Kesha slept on the bed in the hotel suite, while Dr. Luke separately slept on the couch. Dr. Luke testified under oath that he did not have any contact with Kesha. Kesha herself admitted under oath that she has absolutely no memory of Dr. Luke even being in the hotel room. Kesha has no memory of Dr. Luke engaging in inappropriate contact with her because it did not happen.”
Gaga was deposed to speak in the legal battle because of text messages between her and Kesha leaked in June 2018. In the texts, Kesha allegedly accused Dr. Luke of sexually assaulting Katy Perry, who has since denied the claim that Kesha said she heard from someone else in the music industry. Kesha's legal team also denied that Kesha said Luke raped Perry, and blamed the leak on Dr. Luke.0comments
Gaga's years-old testimony comes in Dr. Luke's defamation and breach of contract legal battle against Kesha after the latter alleged that he drugged and raped her and verbally and emotionally abused her for a decade. In February 2016, Luke, 45, tweeted, "I didn't rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her. Kesha and I were friends for many years and she was like my little sister."
A judge dismissed Kesha's abuse claims in 2016. She has since dropped her triumphant third album, Rainbow, in 2017, although she remains tied to Luke through her recording contract with his company.