As Kesha attempts to sever ties with producer Dr. Luke, alleging he sexually assaulted her, Lady Gaga has voiced support of her fellow pop star. In an Instagram post screenshotting a statement, Gaga asked her fans not to disparage Kesha, using the hashtag #StopVictimShaming to accompany the post.
“The very reason women don’t speak up for years is the fear that no one will believe them or their abuser has threatened their life or life of their loved ones/livelihood in order to keep their victim quiet and under control,” Gaga wrote. “What happened to Kesha has happened to many female artists, including myself, and it will affect her for the rest of her life.
“No one needs to validate Kesha,” she continued. “Why is victim always the ‘liar’? Why do we let people in a position of power get away with behaving inhumanely? These guys hide behind the legal system and it’s their litigious behavior that is precisely what they use to rape these girls. ‘Give me what I want or else I will come after you’ and they have all the money and the resources to do it.”
Lady Gaga had previously screenshotted words of support for Kesha from California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and posted them to Instagram, and she uploaded a photo of herself holding hands with Kesha with the words “free Kesha.”
In a December 2014 interview with Howard Stern, Lady Gaga revealed that she’d written the Artpop song “Swine” as a means for her to express outrage over having been sexually assaulted as a 19-year-old. “It didn’t affect me as much right after as it did about four or five years later,” she said. “It hit me so hard. I was so traumatized by it that I was like, ‘Just keep going,’ because I just had to get out of there.”
A few days after the interview, Kehsa’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, tweeted that Gaga’s rapist was Dr. Luke. A spokesperson for Gaga told Rolling Stone that the allegation was patently untrue. “This ridiculous, manufactured link between Lady Gaga and the Kesha/Dr. Luke lawsuit is utterly incomprehensible,” said the rep. “This simply isn’t true and how dare someone take advantage of such a sensitive matter.” The producer sued the attorney for defamation. Geragos has since deleted his tweets.
A number of pop stars have thrown their support behind Kesha, after a judge decided that for the time being, the singer would continue to be signed to Luke’s label. Taylor Swift donated $250,000 to the singer for her financial needs, and Adele, Lorde, Grimes, Lily Allen and Kelly Clarkson, among others, have all made statements publicly supporting Kesha.
At the same time, Dr. Luke has maintained his innocence. The producer sent a series of tweets earlier this month detailing his side of the accusation. “I understand why people without all the information are speaking out,” he wrote. “I can appreciate their compassion. But lives can get ruined when there’s a rush to judgment before all the facts come out. … 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. Kesha has denied under oath the horrible allegations now being made against me.”
A court date has yet to be set to address the sexual assault claims.