Dr Luke goes on a Twitter rampage, says he didn't rape Kesha. But should you believe him?

Today, Dr Luke (or Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald) went on a Twitter rant about allegations that he raped and abused Kesha, a young woman signed to his record label. He says he’s not a rapist. He didn’t even have sex with Kesha, and he thinks of the popstar as a little sister.

He also said that if Kesha’s lawyers actually cared about women’s rights, then they wouldn’t have represented people like Chris Brown. Dr Luke says, “any sane person” is against rape.

His legal team had previously accused Kesha of running a “trial by Twitter” against Dr Luke.

DrLuke getyy feat fb
People lie for all sorts of reasons. (Image via Getty: Tommaso Boddi.)

But this morning, Dr Luke seemed to run his own “defence by Twitter”.

“Until now I haven’t commented on the lawsuits, which should be resolved in court not here on Twitter,” Dr Luke wrote to his 240,000 Twitter followers.

“It’s a shame that there’s so much speculation out there basing itself on so little information. The only truly objective person who knows the facts is the judge. The judge did not rule in Kesha’s favour on Friday.”

Dr Luke acknowledged that other recording artists have spoken out in support of Kesha (including Taylor Swift, who offered Kesha $250k in financial support, and Kelly Clarkson who has previously worked with Dr Luke on her hit, “Since U’ve Been Gone”) – but Dr Luke says they don’t have the whole story:


“I understand why people without all the information are speaking out. I can appreciate their compassion.”

“But lives can get ruined when there’s a rush to judgment before all the facts come out. Of course any sane person is against rape and sexual assault but everybody who is commenting is doing so without knowledge or facts.”

Dr Luke says that Kesha’s claims are “an allegation only – motivated by money”:

“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,” he tweeted.

“Kesha has denied under oath the horrible allegations now being made against me. Here is the testimony.” Dr Luke then tweeted documents obtained by TMZ in which she denied an “intimate” relationship with Dr Luke, and said that he did not give her a “roofie”.

Dr Luke closed by saying that he has sisters, children, a partner and a feminist mother.

“Imagine if you or somebody you loved was publicly accused of a rape you knew they didn’t do. Imagine that. I have 3 sisters, a daughter, and a son with my girlfriend, and a feminist mom who raised me right,” he writes.

“Kesha and I made a lot of songs together and it was often good but there were creative differences at times. It’s sad that she would turn a contract negotiation into something so horrendous and untrue. But I feel confident when this is over the lies will be exposed and the truth will prevail.”

Dr Luke believes the truth will come out.

And Dr Luke’s truth is this: Kesha is lying about being raped. Specifically, she is lying about being raped in order to receive financial gain. She’s lying about being raped to get out of a contract that keeps her working with him (perhaps not physically with him, within his reach).

It is true that some women have lied about rape.

It happens today. It has happened historically. One of the world’s most beloved books, To Kill a Mockingbird involves a white woman making an apparently false accusation of rape against a black man.

People lie. They lie about all sorts of things.

But how many women lie about rape?

The facts say: Not many. Very, very few. Several studies have shown that between 2 and 8 percent of reports of rape don’t proceed because they may be false.


What does that look like? It looks like this:

Writer Rebecca Watson has explained these stats in terms of how often you’ll be right and wrong in relation to who you believe.

So, think of it this way:

If you always believe the person reporting a rape, 98% of the time you will be right.

If you always believe the person who is denying the rape, you’ll only be right 2% of the time.

Yes, Kesha could be lying. She could be lying to get out of a contract she doesn’t like. She could be lying because she thinks that saying she was raped is the best way to get out of that contract.

There’s a chance that is the case.

But if we think about this in economic terms (and Dr Luke is the one who thinks there’s a financial agenda here), Dr Luke has produced some of the most popular songs this decade.

He used to be a guitarist in the Saturday Night Live band. He started working with super-producer Max Marin (who you can read about here), and has had writing and producing credits on some of the last decade’s biggest songs: Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” Pink’s “U + Ur Hand,” Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” and Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the U.S.A.”

If you work with Dr Luke and his associates, there is a strong chance you will sell many records (although Dr Luke doesn’t readily share writing credits with artists – both Kesha and Kelly Clarkson have stories about not being credited). In contrast, for the past 18 months since she filed a lawsuit against Dr Luke, Kesha has been playing at universities, and at a small event in Nashville called Yeast Infection.

If Kesha wanted money, working with Dr Luke would be a good option. Even if they had the “creative differences” that Dr Luke claims, there is no doubt that they have made a couple of well-received pop songs together.

But instead, Kesha has told the world she was raped by Dr Luke. She has told the world that he abused and humiliated her. She is sitting in the back of a courtroom while strangers debate whether she has to work with a man who she says raped her.

Her affidavit from the current proceedings tells a very detailed story of a young woman in a dire situation.


[You can read all of the documents on Scribd.]

In her complaint, Kesha claims that Dr Luke “sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally abused [Kesha] to the point where [she] nearly lost her life.” Kesha says he did this being able to “maintain complete control over her life and career.” She says he gave her tablets that turned out to be GHB, a so-called “date rape” drug. When she woke, she says she realised that she had been raped and rang her mum. The affidavit also lists the abuse that she says he rained on her and the comments about her body, weight and value.

It was several years before Kesha made these allegations publicly, but that is not uncommon with sexual assault. Kesha also re-signed a contract with Dr Luke in the intervening period. That could have been due to a financial imperative, or some other form of pressure, or at that time, Kesha thought she would be able to work with him – we don’t know. Again, that’s not uncommon in cases of sexual assault. Some women go back to their abuser because the alternative is living with their children in a car during winter.

The point is people lie.

People lie for all sorts of reasons.

Women lie.

But they only lie about rape in the rarest of cases.

If you choose to believe someone who is denying a rape over a woman prepared to go through an often devastating legal process to get justice, research says you’ll be wrong 98% of the time.

Keep that in mind.

People lie for all sorts of reasons. What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told?