Kelly Clarkson Comments On Dr. Luke, Claims She Was "Blackmailed" Into Working With Him
The myriad of artists who have spoken out in support of Kesha in the wake of her court case against Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald includes Kelly Clarkson, who previously kept relatively mum in a tweet about the topic. Having worked with the famed producer on hits like "Since U Been Gone," "Behind These Hazel Eyes," and "My Life Would Suck Without You," Clarkson initially shared her distaste for Gottwald, tweeting, "Trying 2 not say anything since I can't say anything nice about a person... so this is me not talking about Dr. Luke" after Kesha's preliminary injunction to break her contract with Gottwald was denied by a judge. However, in a new interview with Australia's KIIS 106.5's Kyle and Jackie O, Clarkson claimed that she was "blackmailed" into working with Gottwald, called him a liar, and spoke plainly about how she views his character. Update: On Tuesday, March 8, Clarkson tweeted in regards to her KIIS 106.5 interview: "Want to clarify that my current regime at @RCARecords is not the same one who forced me to work w/Dr. Luke. Peter Edge is rad & a good dude!")
Bustle has reached out to Gottwald's rep regarding Clarkson's claims. RCA could not be reached for comment.
"He’s not a good person, to me. We've clashed, and I can't really say anything other than that," she told the hosts, noting that while Kesha fans want her to speak up about the "Tik Tok" singer's assault case against Gottwald, she can't. "Her fans are like, 'Oh, why don't you stand up for her?' And I'm like, 'Well, I wasn't there. I don't know specifically what happened in their situation. Obviously, I wasn't in the room.'" (Her comments about Dr. Luke begin around the 1:23:00 mark.)
In October 2014, Kesha filed a lawsuit alleging that Gottwald drugged and raped her, and emotionally and verbally abused her. Gottwald has vehemently denied these claims and countersued Kesha for defamation.
Clarkson went on to share her opinions on the producer's character during her interview:
I can remark on the his character, and unfortunately, when you have that poor of character, like, so many artists don't like you, don't like working with you, that's not normal. I get along with everybody I work with. I love everyone I work with. And he's a really... he's just not a good guy, for me ...
Obviously, he's a talented dude. He's just lied a lot and just his character — I've run into a couple really bad situations. Like, musically it's been really hard for me because he just will lie to people, so it's like, "What?" It makes the artist look bad. And he's kind of difficult to work with, kind of demeaning. It's just kind of unfortunate.
She went on to claim that she was blackmailed by her label, RCA Records (which is owned by Sony Music, the parent company of Dr. Luke's Kemosabe Records). "I only worked with him, even the last time I worked with him, I only worked with him because literally I got blackmailed by my label," she explained. "They were like, we will not put your album [out] if you don't do this." The Huffington Post points out that Clarkson's interview about Dr. Luke comes after she fulfilled her American Idol contract with RCA with the release of her latest album, 2015's Piece by Piece.
"It was a really hard time for me," she explained. "And I try to make the best of the situation. That's the unfortunate thing I see in the lawsuit situation. A contract is a contract at the end of the day. A lot of us artists... y'all don't see how much behind-the-scenes... it's hard. And we have a whole crew to support. We have our whole touring crew and people that depend on us for their livelihood. Sometimes you have to make decisions and sometimes you have to swallow that pill."
That being said, Clarkson was quick to acknowledge that her experience working with Gottwald cannot be compared to Kesha's claims. "Her situation is very different from mine, apparently. He never did anything like that with me. I don't know that part," she said. "People are like, 'Oh why don't you defend her?' And I'm like, 'Hey. I'll be really honest about the guy, but I don't know that situation.'"
Previously, Gottwald's attorney, Christine Lepera, released a statement to Rolling Stone commending the judge for her decision when it came to Kesha's injunction request:
The New York County Supreme Court on Friday found that Kesha is already "free" to record and release music without working with Dr. Luke as a producer if she doesn’t want to. Any claim that she isn’t "free" is a myth. The sound decision Friday by the Court in denying Kesha's motion for an injunction made it clear Kesha's allegations of purported abuse were unconvincing and that she had no basis to void record contracts and copyrights… The goal of Kesha's counsel throughout has been to obtain a more lucrative contract through a shameless campaign of outrageous claims they will never stand behind in a court of law.
As Dr. Luke has said repeatedly, the allegations against him are outright lies that have been advanced to extort a contract renegotiation and money. Kesha and her counsel have cavalierly subjected Dr. Luke and his family to trial by Twitter, using a vicious smear campaign to ruin his reputation for financial gain while failing to support their claims… It will further be shown that the incidents alleged never happened.
Kesha's lawyer released the following statement to Billboard in October 2014:
This lawsuit is a wholehearted effort by Kesha to regain control of her music career and her personal freedom after suffering for ten years as a victim of mental manipulation, emotional abuse and sexual assault at the hands of Dr. Luke. The facts presented in our lawsuit paint a picture of a man who is controlling and willing to commit horrible acts of abuse in an attempt to intimidate an impressionable, talented, young female artist into submission for his personal gain. Kesha is focused on moving her life and her career beyond this terrible time.
As for Sony, an attorney for the company told the New York Times ,
Sony has made it possible for Kesha to record without any connection, involvement or interaction with Luke whatsoever, but Sony is not in a position to terminate the contractual relationship between Luke and Kesha. Sony is doing everything it can to support the artist in these circumstances, but is legally unable to terminate the contract to which it is not a party.