Kesha's Mother Opens Up About Her Daughter's Legal Battle with Dr. Luke: 'She Was a Prisoner'
"She was programmed to expect nothing but abuse," Pebe Sebert explains
In a new interview with Billboard, Rosemary Patricia “Pebe” Sebert claims that Kesha was a “prisoner.”
“It was like someone who beats you every day and hangs you from a chain and then comes in and gives you a piece of bread,” Sebert, 60, explains. “Luke would say, ‘You look nice today,’ and send her into hysterics of happiness because she was programmed to expect nothing but abuse.”
PEOPLE obtained a statement Luke’s attorney, Christine Lepera, provided to the trade publication, saying, “Any claim of duress in connection with that testimony is simply absurd … The vicious smear campaign to extort Luke and damage him and his family is inexcusable.”
Sebert reveals that, against her better judgment, she allowed Kesha, 29, to continue to work with Dr. Luke, 42, even after he allegedly drugged, raped and verbally abused the “Timber” singer. Dr. Luke has vehemently denied all accusations of abuse. His lawyer has also denied Kesha’s claims.
“I do remember her calling me from the plane telling me that she was so drunk, and [how] Dr. Luke came over and started making out with her and was all over her,” Sebert says. “She told me she felt terrible and was trying to get away from him and then vomited.”
She continues: “I wanted Kesha to come forward a long time ago and end this relationship with Dr. Luke immediately after the [alleged] rape. But if she wanted to have a shot at the music business, she had no choice but [to work with him].”
Sebert shares that the more successful Kesha became, the worse Dr. Luke treated her.
“This is when Luke started getting really hateful,” she says. “He saw her as a cash cow and started manipulating her all the time. She thought all her dreams were finally coming true, but this was just a f—ing trip to hell.”
Because a New York court ruled in February not to release Kesha from her contract with Dr. Luke, she is still bound to her alleged abuser.
“Dr. Luke basically owns Kesha until her death. He doesn’t have to give her any money and is under no time constraints. She can’t legally put any new music out, or he can and will sue her,” Sebert says.
However, Sebert says, sharing her story with the world has been extremely therapeutic for Kesha.
“Kesha is so much better now,” Sebert shares. “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. The fact that she is at peace with that has been really healing.”