FIGHTING BACK

Af­ter years of fighting a dev­as­tat­ing le­gal war and her own demons, Kesha opens up about tak­ing her life back

Life & Style Weekly - - Contents -

Kesha opens up about on­go­ing le­gal bat­tles, past pain and tak­ing back her life!

Kesha called it “the scari­est day of my life.” It wasn’t when she con­fessed to her mom that she had an eat­ing dis­or­der and needed help. It wasn’t the day she filed a law­suit against her former pro­ducer Dr. Luke, al­leg­ing sex­ual bat­tery and years of emo­tional abuse (which he’s de­nied). Ac­cord­ing to the singer, it was Jan. 28, 2018, when she hit the Gram­mys stage to per­form “Pray­ing,” which has be­come an an­them for sur­vivors of sex­ual as­sault. Kesha felt she had to prove, she said, “that I de­served to be there.”

She did, earn­ing a thun­der­ous stand­ing ovat ion from music’s big- gest names. Now, af­ter more than three years em­broiled in a bit­ter le­gal fight, Kesha (whose full name is Kesha Rose Se­bert) is open­ing up about the trauma she’s en­dured and what it feels like to come out the other side. “Kesha wants to help women who’ve been in sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions,” an in­sider tells Life & Style. “She’s putting her fame to good use by pub­licly speak­ing out about what she’s been through, to en­cour­age oth­ers who have been sex­u­ally ha­rassed to be strong enough to come for­ward and re­al­ize they’re not alone.” Though “the lit­i­ga­tion is still on­go­ing,” she told CBS Sun­day Morn­ing in early May — and though Dr. Luke con­tin­ues to strongly deny her claims — Kesha says she fi­nally be­lieves she’s in a place where she can “live free,” the mes­sage she’s spelled out on her new knuckle tat­toos. “I feel,” she says, “like I took my life back.”

CON­STANT CHAL­LENGES

But she also feels like an out­sider. De­spite earn­ing raves for her deeply per­sonal Grammy-nom­i­nated 2017 al­bum Rain­bow — her first with­out Dr. Luke’s in­put — she’s still in­volved in what so far has been a los­ing bat­tle to prove her claims and be re­leased from her con­tract with the pro­ducer and record exec, 44, who coun­ter­sued her for defama­tion in 2014. “I [still] don’t feel like I fit in any­where, re­ally,” Kesha ad­mits. It’s been a strug­gle for the singer, 31, who “has been to hell and back over the past few years,” ex­plains the in­sider. While work­ing with Dr. Luke (real name: Lukasz Gottwald),

“Her self-es­teem hit rock bot­tom, which led to anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion and bu­limia,” the in­sider says. “She’d put on a con­fi­dent and strong front, but the re­al­ity is she was in a lot of emo­tional pain as her life spi­raled out of con­trol.”

She re­gained a mea­sure of that con­trol in 2014 when she sought help for the eat­ing dis­or­der she claims Luke en­cour­aged. “I just, like, hated my­self so much. I had so much sad­ness,” Kesha re­cently said. “I was in such a dark hole of a place.” The same year, she took him to court. But the law­suits “made her anx­i­ety even worse,” says the in­sider, es­pe­cially af­ter a judge dis­missed large parts of her case and Dr. Luke pub­licly branded her a liar. “There’s only so much,” Kesha notes, “some­body can take.” She fi­nally made a de­ci­sion to let her lawyers “deal with it,” she says, and re­fo­cus on her music. Buoyed by the sup­port of her fans, friends and A-lis­ters like Tay­lor Swift, Adele, Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lau­per, she made Rain­bow — and says it “quite lit­er­ally saved my life.” Kesha “re­ally feels loved,” notes the in­sider, “and that love has made her stronger.”

Now she’s gear­ing up for a sum­mer tour, her first in five years, in sup­port of her life-chang­ing al­bum. “It’s re­ally helped Kesha gain back her con­fi­dence. She can’t stop telling friends how ex­cited she is to hit the road and how she’ll never let any­one hurt her again,” says the in­sider. Her hope is sim­ply to “be happy,” she re­cently said, “be­cause I feel like that’s win­ning. That’s win­ning ev­ery­thing.”

It was the split no one saw com­ing. Back in September 2016, An­gelina Jolie dropped one of Hol­ly­wood’s big­gest bomb­shells when she abruptly filed for di­vorce from Brad Pitt. While things started out ugly, Brad and An­gelina agreed — for the sake of their six chil­dren — to try to make the le­gal un­cou­pling as quick and pain­less as pos­si­ble. It hasn’t turned out that way. Nearly two years later, the di­vorce still hasn’t been fi­nal­ized. Though an in­sider says both Brad and An­gelina are “ea­ger to get on with their new and sep­a­rate lives,” Life & Style has ex­clu­sively learned that they can’t agree on a few key is­sues — and it’s keep­ing their di­vorce in an awk­ward hold­ing pat­tern. “Brad keeps telling friends that they’re inches away from sign­ing off on an agree­ment,” an­other source says, “but then a new wrin­kle de­vel­ops.”

CAN THEY COM­PRO­MISE?

From the start, the main stick­ing point has been the kids. When An­gelina, 42, first filed for di­vorce, she de­manded sole cus­tody of Mad­dox, 16, Pax, 14, Za­hara, 13, Shiloh, 11, and twins Vivi­enne and Knox, 9, cit­ing Brad’s drink­ing and the in­fa­mous in­ci­dent in which he lost his tem­per with Mad­dox dur­ing an ar­gu­ment on their pri­vate plane. Brad, 54, has since got­ten sober and em­braced a healthier life­style — and he re­fuses to ac­cept

a sit­u­a­tion in which his time with his kids is cur­tailed. “Brad’s goal is joint phys­i­cal and le­gal cus­tody,” the source says. “But An­gelina has been im­mov­able on that point.”

The other on­go­ing bat­tle is over one piece of prop­erty: the Château Mi­raval es­tate and vine­yard in France, which Brad and An­gelina pur­chased to­gether be­fore their 2014 mar­riage on the es­tate’s grounds. In re­cent years, it’s net­ted them a for­tune thanks to the suc­cess of Mi­raval rosé wine and olive oil. “An­gelina has been push­ing Brad to sell the es­tate and give her half the money, but he wants to keep it,” the in­sider says. “Brad has re­ally loved ren­o­vat­ing the build­ings on the grounds and work­ing with the vint­ner and olive oil maker. He’s there for ev­ery har­vest, and he wants to keep the le­gacy go­ing.” It is, the in­sider adds, “the one pos­ses­sion he’s in­tent on hang­ing on to. It’s his baby.”

Brad and Angie both want to move on. He’s been dat­ing MIT ar­chi­tec­ture pro­fes­sor Neri Ox­man, 42, and Angie’s been se­cretly see­ing a Bri­tish mil­lion­aire, as Life & Style has re­ported. Friends of the former cou­ple be­lieve they’re get­ting close to solv­ing their is­sues, es­pe­cially the ones re­lat­ing to the kids. “An­gelina might not end up giv­ing Brad joint cus­tody, but she’s try­ing to work out a com­pro­mise,” the in­sider says. “They are both ready to fo­cus on new pro­jects and pur­sue other love in­ter­ests. They just have to work out the fine points.”

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