Lady Gaga's Emotional Kesha Deposition Unsealed: 'Do You Know What It's Like for Survivors?'
A recently unsealed deposition reveals Lady Gaga came to Kesha‘s defense after the “TiK ToK” singer sued her mentor, music producer Dr. Luke, in 2014 for allegedly drugging and raping her. Luke has vehemently denied the allegations and until Tuesday, exactly what Gaga had said was unknown.
According to documents obtained by PEOPLE and first reported by The Blast, the A Star Is Born actress, 32, pushed back against Dr. Luke’s lawyers’ line of questioning, telling one she should be “ashamed of herself.”
Gaga’s lawyer began the September 2017 deposition by reminding those present that Gaga herself was a sexual abuse survivor and had PTSD from her experience.
“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 his client, born Stefani Germanotta.
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“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 then recalled first meeting Kesha, 31, at Dr. Luke’s studio, adding that at the time, the “Praying” musician was in the back wearing only underwear.
Asked what Kesha told her about the alleged abuse in their subsequent conversations, Gaga said, “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.”
Luke’s lawyers then pressed Gaga on how the accusations have affected the producer’s reputation, which didn’t sit well with the “Poker Face” singer.
“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 point-blank 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 the lawyer asked if Gaga 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.”
She continued: “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.”
Luke’s lawyer then brought up the idea of false rape accusations, saying, “You think there has never been a false accusation of rape?”
(According to a 2010 study, only 2 to 10 percent of rape accusations are false.)
Gaga 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.”
After the lawyer called Kesha’s accusations a “he-said-she-said situation,” Gaga said, “I believe it to be true … 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.”
Then Gaga concluded, “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.”
After Dr. Luke’s lawyer denied rolling her eyes, both sides agreed to take a brief break from the deposition.
In a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday, Dr. Luke’s legal team and attorney Christine Lepera responded to Lady Gaga‘s deposition being made public, saying, “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.”
RELATED VIDEO: Kesha Delivers Emotional Performance of ‘Praying’ with Cyndi Lauper & Camila Cabello at Grammys
Gaga was deposed to speak in the ongoing Dr. Luke-Kesha legal battle because of text messages between her and Kesha leaked in June 2018. In them, the latter allegedly accused Dr. Luke of raping Katy Perry. In a statement to PEOPLE at the time, Perry denied the allegations. At the time, Kesha’s legal team also denied to PEOPLE that Kesha said that Luke raped Perry, and blamed the leak on Dr. Luke.
In 2014, Kesha sued her former mentor, now 45, alleging he had drugged and raped her and verbally and emotionally abused her for a decade. Luke has countersued Kesha for breach of contract and defamation. In February 2016, Luke 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.”
In 2016, a judge dismissed Kesha’s abuse claims, but the legal he-said-she-said continues. Kesha dropped her triumphant third album, Rainbow, in the summer of 2017, though she is still tied to Luke through her recording contract with his company.