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What We Still Don't Know About The Kesha–Dr. Luke Case

A closer look at some of the case's many unanswered questions.

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On Tuesday, a judge agreed to unseal pages from a 2011 deposition in which Kesha and her mother, Pebe Sebert, deny that super-producer Dr. Luke ever sexually abused her — the latest twist in the ongoing legal battle between the former collaborators turned bitter adversaries. Some of Kesha's statements contradict her suit against Luke from earlier this month, which alleges that he drugged, raped, and/or forced himself on her on multiple occasions spanning 10 years. Kesha's lawyer, Mark Geragos, has responded by arguing that Kesha had been coerced into making the statements, claiming that Dr. Luke "threatened to destroy Kesha's life and the lives of her family if she didn't cover up his sexual assaults."

Read closely, and taken with other developments since this case first broke 10 days ago, the new information may inspire more questions than answers. Here's what we still don't know.

When did Kesha first make her allegations against Luke?

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As the depositions from 2011 make clear, Kesha's lawsuit is not the first time she's made these allegations against Dr. Luke. Her mother and management team had known about the rape accusations for years, possibly as early as 2006.

Who told Kesha's mother that Kesha woke up in bed with Dr. Luke without any recollection of how she got there?

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Kesha's initial lawsuit against Luke states that she called her mother "immediately" after the incident in Luke's bed. But the testimony of her and her mother during the deposition tells a different story. Pebe claims that she first heard about the episode in a meeting with Kesha’s then-manager David Sonenberg, and Kesha claims she can't remember telling her mother about the incident.


Why did Pebe threaten to go public with the alleged abuse instead of going to the authorities?

In an email circulated by Dr. Luke's lawyers, Pebe allegedly threatened to go public with the sexual abuse allegations last October unless Kesha was released from her recording contract. "Do we all want this to come out?" she wrote at the time. "Either Luke releases Kesha from all legal contracts, and gives me back all my publishing, or we, Kesha and I, tell the truth."

Did Kesha and Pebe leak information to the "Free Kesha" campaign?

Dr. Luke claims Kesha and her mother threatened to leak information to the blogger behind the "Free Kesha" petition in an effort to extort him. When the person behind the petition began leaking songs, many fans began to wonder if the fan campaign had a connection to Kesha's camp.

When were Kesha and Dr. Luke spotted making out on a plane and by whom?

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While Kesha flatly denies having ever had an intimate relationship with Dr. Luke, on page 151 of the deposition she does admit to making out with him on a cross-country flight. It's unclear when this incident occurred or who witnessed it as follow-up questions continue on to page 152, which was not unsealed.

Why did Kesha and Dr. Luke ever sleep in the same bed?

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In the pages that have been released, Kesha is asked twice if she's ever had an intimate relationship with Dr. Luke and denies it both times. However, on page 153 she concedes to having shared a bed with him.


Did Dr. Luke give Kesha drugs?

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When asked directly about cocaine and roofies, Kesha denies Dr. Luke ever drugged her. When the questions are less specific, however, she’s more evasive.

Did Kesha try to fire Dr. Luke in December 2005?

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Buried on page 153 of the deposition appears to be the revelation that Kesha tried to terminate her agreement with Dr. Luke in December 2005, less than a year after signing with him. If that’s the case, it means she first tried to end their professional relationship almost a decade ago.

Was Dr. Luke and Kesha's professional relationship ugly from the very beginning?

According DAS Management, Kesha's former management team, the singer was set to sign a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records in 2008 after attracting the attention of Kara DioGuardi. The deal fell through, with DAS claiming interference from Dr. Luke. The allegations of foul play were the basis of their 2009 lawsuit against Kesha and Dr. Luke.

Prior to the Warner Bros. deal, Kesha had little contact with Dr. Luke. She was working independently, writing songs for others and trying to land a record deal. Meanwhile, Dr. Luke was busy producing hits for Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry, and Britney Spears. It wasn’t until Dr. Luke pulled her into the studio to sing the unpaid, uncredited hook on Flo Rida’s 2009 hit “Right Round” that they began to collaborate in earnest. Shortly after her Flo Rida session, Kesha signed a multi-album deal with RCA Records that was set up by Dr. Luke. Immediately they set to work on her debut album, Animal, which was released in 2010.

Their relationship publicly soured in 2012, after the release of Kesha's sophomore album Warrior, when she began complaining that she didn't have control over the direction of her career. Around the same time, her side project with Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne,Lip$ha, was mysteriously killed and Dr. Luke allegedly called Kesha a "refrigerator" on the set of a music video.


How is Jared Scharff involved?

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Immediately before Kesha was asked about allegedly being roofied, she was asked about a man named Jared Scharff. There appear to have been emails between Scharff and Dr. Luke back in July 2008 that reference Kesha and the date rape drug. While Kesha insists she doesn’t know who Jared Scharff is and the questioner doesn’t elaborate, when Dr. Luke left the Saturday Night Live band in 2007, guitarist Jared Scharff was hired as his replacement.

Are there other girls like Kesha?

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Kesha's lawyer Mark Gergaros has told multiple news outlets that he anticipates other women will come forward with similar allegations against Dr. Luke. That's a shoe we're still waiting on to drop.

What will happen to their respective music careers?

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While Dr. Luke has yet to release Kesha from her multi-album contract, their professional relationship is already toast. Will Kesha ever be able to strike out on her own? What will happen to Dr. Luke? Will artists boycott? Are his label, Kemosabe Records, and his (incredibly lucrative) partnership with Sony Music Entertainment now in jeopardy?