Jason Derulo, the renowned artist behind chart-toppers like "Whatcha Say" and "Savage Love," finds himself entangled in a legal battle as an aspiring singer, Emaza Gibson, alleges quid pro quo se*ual harassment that led to her expulsion from his label.
In response, Derulo vehemently denies the allegations, calling them "completely false and hurtful." Gibson has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, targeting Derulo, his manager Frank Harris, Atlantic Records, and Derulo's Future History Inc., with a litany of claims, including quid pro quo se*ual harassment, breach of contract, and failure to address workplace harassment.
The lawsuit also mistakenly lists "Radio Corporation of America DBA as 'RCA Records'"—a separate entity from Sony Music's RCA Records with no known connection to Derulo. According to Gibson's complaint, in August 2021, she entered into agreements with Derulo, Atlantic Records, and Future History, aiming to deliver a mixtape and album within specified timelines.
Derulo took on the roles of mentor, supervisor, and agent for Atlantic Records during their collaboration. The allegations take a disturbing turn when Gibson claims that Derulo demanded se*ual acts in exchange for her success, making explicit references to "goat skin and fish scales," a Haitian reference that alludes to se* rituals, goat sacrifice, and drug use.
Allegations of Coercion and Intimidation
Gibson states that she resisted Derulo's advances, refusing his invitations to drinks, and enduring late-night recording sessions with pressure to consume alcohol. Derulo's promise to arrange transportation for her home ceased after she declined his advances.
An encounter in September 2021 led to Gibson tasting an overly strong drink, which she objected to, resulting in the offer of transportation being withdrawn. Further allegations involve Derulo's aggressive behavior, yelling at Gibson after a meeting, and even physically intimidating her on one occasion.
These events prompted Gibson to request that her mother and manager accompany her to future meetings with Derulo out of safety concerns. Eventually, in September 2022, Gibson received notice that her employment with Atlantic and Future History was terminated, with the explanation that it was to make her "happy." She sought contact with the presidents of Atlantic Records but was rebuffed.
As a result of these experiences, Gibson claims to have suffered significant emotional and physical distress, leading to a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. She is now seeking legal redress, including a trial by jury, punitive damages, special damages, and the coverage of her legal fees.
Jason Derulo, Atlantic Records, and others named in the lawsuit have yet to provide public comments regarding the allegations, setting the stage for a legal battle that shines a spotlight on issues of harassment within the music industry.