Calling the claims “defamatory,” pop star Jason Derulo responded Friday to a lawsuit filed by an aspiring singer who alleges he signed her to his record company then later threatened and fired her after she resisted his sexual advances.
Emaza Gibson claims in her lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court that Derulo hired her in 2021 and “promised to make multiple music albums” with her as part of a joint venture with Atlantic Records and his label, Future History.
“I wouldn’t normally comment but these claims are completely false and hurtful,” Derulo said in an Instagram post Friday. “I stand against all forms of harassment and I remain supportive of anybody following their dreams. I’ve always strived to live my life in a positively impactful way, and that’s why I sit here before you deeply offended by these defamatory claims.”
According to Gibson’s lawsuit, “Derulo informed plaintiff that if she wanted to be successful in `this business,’ plaintiff would be required to partake in `goat skin and fish scales,’ which is a Haitian reference referring to conducting sex rituals, sacrificing a goat, goat blood and doing cocaine.”
The lawsuit contends that “the manner and timing of such a statement meant that Derulo was demanding sexual acts from plaintiff in order for Derulo to fulfill his role as her mentor, supervisor and musical collaborator. This explicit demand for sex-in-exchange-for-success was reinforced through Derulo’s subsequent behavior.”
Derulo later began regularly inviting her to have drinks or dinner, requests she declined in an effort to keep their relationship professional, according to the lawsuit.
She eventually insisted that her mother/manager be present during all of their future meetings or recording sessions, after which Derulo became angry and stopped responding to her text messages, the suit contends.
She was ultimately fired in September 2022, the suit states, and she was never able to get a response from Atlantic executives about her allegations of “sexually, emotionally and physically inappropriate behavior.”
The suit contends that Gibson suffered breakdowns, weight loss, mood swings, hopelessness , loss of motivation and feelings of betrayal and deception and had to seek mental health treatment, leading to a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The suit seeks unspecified damages.