Dr. Luke allegedly criticized Kesha about her weight loss efforts to her manager behind her back when they worked together, according to emails submitted to a New York court as part of the singer's latest efforts to break ties with the producer amid their more than two-year court battle.
Her attorneys included the messages while filing a request to have two record contracts Kesha signed with Dr. Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, invalidated "so she can be free from her abuser and rebuild her physical, emotional, and mental health." The producer has not commented.
Kesha and Gottwald's legal battle began in 2014. She sued him in a Los Angeles court in a bid to invalidate her recording contracts with him, alleging he "sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally abused" her. Gottwald has denied any wrongdoing. She said he called her a "fat f------ refrigerator" and that his words about her weight caused her to develop bulimia and even attempt suicide.
Gottwald filed a defamation countersuit in New York. In 2016, a judge denied Kesha's request to be allowed to release music outside of Luke's authority. Months later, she dropped her sexual abuse claims, while his defamation suit against her in New York continued.
Her attorneys included in their recent filing an email exchange from June 2012, which shows Gottwald allegedly sent Kesha's manager Monica Cornia an email with a link to an article titled "Global Weight Gain Is WORSE Than Increasing Population!" It is unclear who initiated the conversation.
"She was crying on the way home FYI just for you," the singer's manager wrote in response half an hour later.
"We get concerned when she is breaking her diet plan," Gottwald allegedly responded. "We have seen it happen multiple times...almost every day...it is also double concerning when the A list songwriters and producers are reluctant to give Kesha their songs because of her weight."
"She is working really hard," Cornia said. "And to get in trouble for drinking a Diet Coke and called out in front of the whole room when she's not there is not okay. If she were gaining weight or not losing I would totally get it. Everybody wants her to be the best she can be. But she is still a human being who has feelings and major insecurities and she is doing her very best and I would hope you could be supportive of that."
"Nobody was calling anybody out," Gottwald allegedly said. "We were having a discussion on how she can be more disciplined with her diet. There have been many times we have all witnessed her breaking her diet plan. This particular time it happened to be Diet Coke and turkey while on an all juice fast. We just want to see her stick to the plan for her benefit and the benefit of her career. Please help keep her on her diet. No need to respond any further."
The manager said Kesha "is doing all juice to lose weight."
"If she drinks a Diet Coke and asks to eat turkey and I tell her she shouldn't and she should eat a cucumber," she said. "Then she is doing great and I would hope you'd be supportive and helpful rather than critical. Again, she's human and not a machine. If she were a machine that would be way cool and we could do whatever we want. I will respond if I feel I need to."
"I'm up later than you so I will always get the last word," Gottwald allegedly replied.
"Let's make a bet," the manager said.
It is unclear who ended up having the last word in the email exchange.
In another email thread, Kesha's manager writes to her bosses that the singer and Gottwald had a dispute over lyrics to one of her songs.
"He said, 'I don't give a s--- what you want. If you were smart you would go in and sing it,'" the manager wrote about the producer.
In their recent filing, Kesha's lawyers allege that Gottwald also breached their contracts not only via his "years-long abuse of and physical threats against her," but also due to the "unreasonable and purposeful delay she has experienced in making her new album."
The case is set to continue next week with a telephone conference with the judge.