Lady Gaga came to Kesha's defense in a 2017 deposition according to documents that until Tuesday were heavily redacted. The documents, first reported by the Blast, detail Lady Gaga's testimony delivered in front of Dr. Luke's lawyers in September of 2017.
In 2014, Kesha sued producer Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald, known as Dr. Luke, for sexual assault as well as physical and emotional abuse. Gottwald has denied these allegations. At the time, a record deal that the singer had with Sony Music meant that she was obligated to make music with Dr. Luke, despite her claims of abuse. The suit sought to free Kesha from these contractual obligations. Between 2016 and 2017, courts in New York and LA dismissed Kesha's suit numerous times.
In 2017, Lady Gaga, born Stefani Germanotta, was subpoenaed due to a text message conversation between herself and Kesha in which Kesha disclosed that she'd been raped by Gottwald. The text messages themselves were subpoenaed in Gottwald's own defamation suit against Kesha.
Before Gaga began her testimony, her lawyer took the floor to inform the court that Gaga herself is a survivor of sexual assault and that the day's proceeding would be triggering for her. "There are trigger events, and this deposition has proved to be a trigger event for Ms. Germanotta,” her lawyer said.
According to the Blast, Gaga began her testimony by recounting how she first met Kesha in a back room in Gottwald's home studio, explaining that Kesha had confided in her for years. Gaga was then asked about when she first heard from Kesha about Gottwald's abuse. “What we discussed was, what I recall was her immense sadness and depression and fear," she said. "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.”
Though Gaga had difficulty remembering specifics, she stood firmly in her unwavering belief and support for Kesha, especially when Gottwald's lawyers questioned her about how the lawsuit had damaged Gottwald's reputation. “Reputation, if you are asking about his reputation in the world, I don’t feel at liberty to speak for the entire world. 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.”
According to Rolling Stone, in a statement about Gaga's deposition, Gottwald's lawyers said, “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."
When Gottwald's lawyer asked why Gaga claimed to have knowledge of Gottwald's alleged assault, Gaga said, "She told me he assaulted her.” When the lawyer then asked if she was basing her belief simply on what she was told, Gaga said, "Well, you know—when men assault women, they don’t invite people over to watch.”
When asked if the case was just a matter of he-said, she-said, Gaga replied, "“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 [that] right now. And you are all a party to it.”
"You should be ashamed of yourself," she later told Gottwald's lawyer.