Kelly Clarkson Says She Was 'Blackmailed' Into Working with Dr. Luke: 'He's Just Not a Good Guy'

The singer backs Kesha and claims the producer "difficult to work with"

Photo: Victoria Will/Invision/AP; Insert: Getty


Kelly Clarkson is opening up about her own experience with Dr. Luke, the producer that Kesha is currently embroiled in a legal battle with over her allegations that he sexually, emotionally and verbally abused her for years.

“A lot of artists that have worked with him don’t work with him anymore for pretty good, solid reasons,” Clarkson said of Luke during an interview on Australia’s KIIS FM The Kyle & Jackie O Show. “He’s not a good person to me. We’ve clashed. I can’t really say anything other than that.”

While the “Piece By Piece” singer, 33, said she can’t comment directly on whether Kesha’s claims are true, she told the radio show that she “can remark on his character.”

“Unfortunately, that poor of character – I mean so many artists don’t like you, don’t like working with you – that’s not normal,” the expectant mom explained.

Clarkson alleged that the producer is “just not a good guy to me,” before contending, however, that “he’s a talented dude.”

“He just lied a lot … I’ve run into a couple really bad situations. Musically, it’s been really hard for me because he will just lie to people and it makes the artist look bad,” she said. “And he’s kind of difficult to work with, he’s kind of demeaning.”

Clarkson said she chooses not to collaborate with the Kemosabe Records founder, but has in the past – notably, on hits like 2009’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” and 2004’s “Since U Been Gone.”

“Even the last time I worked with him I only worked with him because literally I got blackmailed by my label,” Clarkson said. “They were like, ‘We will not put your album out if you don’t do this.'”

However, source tells PEOPLE Clarkson’s team reached out to work with Dr. Luke in the past. (Reps for Dr. Luke, Clarkson and RCA did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment. 19 Recordings could not be reached.)

Indeed, as longtime Sony and RCA label exec Clive Davis wrote in his 2013 biography, he coordinated Clarkson and Luke’s collaboration.

The pop star and American Idol winner said that while she’s never had Kesha’s “particular situation” happen to her, it’s not an uncommon scenario in the music industry.

“I’ve heard a lot of girls have had similar situations,” she said, stopping short of clarifying whether she was discussing a negative work environment in general or additional sexual allegations.

She added: “If it’s true I can’t imagine working with somebody like that.”

At a hearing in February, Kesha’s request for a preliminary injunction that would allow her to record outside of her contract with Sony, the parent company of Dr. Luke’s label, was denied by a New York Supreme Court judge. Sony has said they’ll allow Kesha to record without coming into contact with Luke, but a source close to the situation told PEOPLE that “they would still be contractually tied.”

Luke has continually denied the abuse allegations. “I didn’t rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her,” he wrote on Twitter last month. “Kesha and I were friends for many years and she was like my little sister. Kesha has denied under oath the horrible allegations now being made against me.”

Meanwhile, Kesha – backed by the support of a slew of celebrities – has said the suit is about more than just renegotiating her record contract.

“This is about being free from my abuser. I would be willing to work with Sony if they do the right thing and break all ties that bind me to my abuser,” she wrote on Facebook last month. “But at this point, this issue is bigger than just about me.”

Reporting by JEFF NELSON

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