Jason Derulo Sued for Sexual Harassment by Aspiring Singer

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Singer Jason Derulo is being sued by a woman who claims the singer sexually harassed her and then dropped her from a deal with his record label after she rebuffed his advances, according to documents filed in Los Angeles County court Thursday (Oct. 5).

In the complaint — filed by attorney Ron Zambrano — the woman, Emaza Gibson, accuses Derulo of pressuring her to drink and have sex with him despite her persistent refusals to do so. In one bizarre claim, Gibson says the singer told her that if she wanted success in the music industry, she “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 complaint additionally lists as defendants Derulo’s record label, Future History; Atlantic Records, which has a joint venture with Future History; Derulo’s manager, Frank Harris; and Radio Corporation of America, dba RCA Records. It’s unclear why RCA Records is listed, as the label has never done business with Derulo or Future History.

According to the lawsuit, Derulo contacted Gibson in August 2021 stating he wanted to sign her to Future History, his new joint-venture label with Atlantic. After allegedly signing contracts with Derulo, Future History and Atlantic, Gibson states that work began on her debut album that same November, with Derulo acting “as her mentor, supervisor and agent for Atlantic and Future.”

Gibson goes on to claim that she regularly communicated with Derulo via text message to schedule recording sessions but that the singer instead “repeatedly” invited her to drinks and dinner — meetings she says she declined in an effort to keep the relationship professional. During a meeting in New York with Atlantic executives to discuss her career, Gibson claims she met another female artist who informed her that she was there because Derulo was also trying to have sex with her.

Gibson claims that after that alleged meeting, upon confronting Derulo about what the woman had said, he “immediately lost control and began aggressively hitting his arm rests screaming, ‘What does she have to do with you!? We weren’t going to tell you anything! We don’t have to tell you anything!’” Stating that she was rattled by the outburst, Gibson says she later insisted that her mother, who also served as her manager, be present at any future meetings of recording sessions with Derulo “out of concern for her own safety.” It was at that point, she claims, that Derulo stopped responding to her text messages.

The two allegedly didn’t meet again until June 2, 2022, when Gibson says she asked Derulo about the budget to pay for her recording sessions. She says Derulo snapped at her and ignored her questions but ultimately arranged for a recording session roughly a week later. Gibson says that due to traffic, she and her mother were approximately one hour late to the session, and that when they arrived, Derulo “immediately charged” and “lunged at her, causing her to step back and clutched [sic] her chest to brace herself for DERULO to physically assault her” before running to the bathroom in tears.

Gibson claims that when complaining to Harris about Derulo’s behavior, the manager defended Derulo and told her that the star “had the right to yell” at her. Derulo allegedly never responded to a follow-up text from Gibson about arranging another recording session, and on Sept. 6, 2022, she says she was informed that her “employment” with Atlantic and Future History had been terminated. She claims she then took her complaints about Derulo’s “sexually, emotionally and physically inappropriate behavior” to Atlantic executives and the label’s human resources department but that she was directed to take up her concerns with Future History. “No one has ever reached out to address” her concerns since, she claims.

Since her alleged experiences with Derulo, Gibson says she’s required medical intervention for “breakdowns, weight loss, insomnia, mood swings, hopelessness, loss of motivation…[and] feelings of betrayal and deception” and was subsequently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Gibson is suing for sexual harassment, failure to prevent and/or remedy harassment, retaliation, intimidation and violence, and breach of contract, among other causes of action. She’s requesting damages for unpaid wages, loss of earnings and deferred compensation; general damages for emotional distress; special damages for medical expenses; and punitive damages.

Representatives for Derulo, Harris, Atlantic and RCA Records did not respond to Billboard‘s request for comment at time of publishing.

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