In a New York Times Magazine interview, Kesha spoke candidly and poignantly about her past mental health struggles. She claimed that Dr. Luke, the producer she has accused of sexual assault, also body-shamed her. After her first album came out and she went on tour, he began commenting on her looks, sometimes in public. He once called her "fat [expletive] refrigerator," she said. (Dr. Luke denies these claims and has sued Kesha for defamation.) He also allegedly attempted to make her sing lyrics like "Get that heifer out my face. I’m going to pull your ponytail back because you don’t know me, bitch, you phony trick," which he also denies. "I was under immense pressure to starve myself," she remembers. "And I tried to and almost killed myself in the process." By January of 2014, Kesha had hit rock bottom with depression and an eating disorder. She entered a residential treatment center to recover. While she was there, her boyfriend got her a toy keyboard that she used to create new music. She also used the center's art therapy sessions to write back to her fans.
"These music business assholes (well, Dr. Luke) had almost successfully crushed my MAGIC. But that fucker didn't win," she told one fan.
"I'm here working out some emotional trauma and abuse. There is someone I work with that is SO abusive," she wrote in one.
"Someone I work with has literally driven me into this disease, tortured me and fucked with me and my family," another obtained by Buzzfeed reads. After she returned from the facility, she dropped the dollar sign from her name and filed the lawsuit against Dr. Luke. "I was taking back my strength, and I was taking back my voice, and taking back my power, taking back my body," she told the New York Times Magazine. "I’m just taking back my [expletive] life."