The September 2017 deposition, which was unsealed in court on Tuesday, shows Gaga becoming combative with Dr. Luke’s lawyer for trying to undermine Kesha’s claim that her former collaborator sexually assaulted her. The deposition began with Lady Gaga’s lawyers cautioning that as a survivor of sexual assault, the proceedings were especially painful for the singer.
“I just want everyone to understand that, as she has publicly stated in other contexts, as a sex abuse survivor, and I know this from my own personal experience with family members, there are trigger events, and this deposition has proved to be a trigger event for Ms. Germanotta,” Gaga’s lawyer said. “And she has experienced in the past few hours some PTSD reactions which is causing some trauma and emotional reactivity. So she is crying now the record will reflect.”
During questioning, Gaga said the first time she met Kesha was in a back room at Dr. Luke’s home studio, where Kesha was wearing only underwear. Gaga added that Kesha told her that she was sexually abused by Dr. Luke during the course of their working relationship.
“What we discussed was, what I recall was her immense sadness and depression and fear,” Gaga 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.”
Proceedings became combative when Dr. Luke’s lawyer asked if Gaga believed that the sexual assault accusation damaged the producer’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,” Gaga said, referring to seeing Kesha wearing only underwear in Dr. Luke’s studio. “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.”
Gaga also pushed back on questions asking if she had witnessed Dr. Luke abusing Kesha.
“Well, you know – when men assault women, they don’t invite people over to watch,” Gaga said. She added, “And when this happens in this industry, it is kept extremely secret, and it is compounded by contracts and manipulative power scenarios that actually include this very situation that we are all in right now.”
Gaga’s responses were pointed when Dr. Luke’s attorney continued to frame Kesha’s accusations as a “he said, she said” scenario that is ultimately unprovable.
“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 the right now. And you are all a party to it,” Gaga said. “Why on earth would this girl tell the entire world this happened? Why on earth? Do you know what it’s like for survivors? Do you know what it’s like to tell people? Don’t you roll you eyes at me. You should be ashamed of yourself.”
Gaga was subpoenaed to testify as part of a defamation lawsuit, one of several suits involved in the complicated case of Kesha’s sexual misconduct allegations against Dr. Luke. In this case, Luke is accusing Kesha of defamation over texts she sent to Gaga about a record executive’s claims that Luke raped Katy Perry. Both Perry and Dr. Luke have denied the claim. On Tuesday, Kesha’s lawyers filed paperwork arguing that their denials aren’t proof that a rape never occurred.