Photo Credit: Melissa Rose / CC by 2.0
Jason Derulo says he’s ‘deeply offended’ by ‘derogatory’ allegations of sexual assault, calling them ‘false and hurtful.’
A lawsuit filed against Jason Derulo in Los Angeles last week accuses the 34-year-old singer of quid pro quo sexual harassment when he promised Emaza Gibson a record deal, then became aggressive and dropped her altogether when she refused to have sex with him. Now Derulo has released a video on social media refuting the “derogatory” allegations, which he calls “false and hurtful.”
“I’m at this point in my life right now,” said the 25-year-old Gibson in an interview with NBC News on Wednesday. “I have anxiety; I’m traumatized. I’ve dealt with inhumane work situations.”
Representatives for Jason Derulo have yet to respond to media requests for comment, but the singer posted a video to Instagram on Friday, denying the allegations.
“I wouldn’t normally comment, but these claims are completely false and hurtful,” said Derulo. “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.”
In 2008, Emaza Gibson moved to Los Angeles with her sisters to chase their dream of a career in music. Despite her sisters moving onto other pursuits, Gibson continued to pursue music, forming the hip-hop duo Ceraadi, and amassing over 1.25 million subscribers on YouTube.
In 2021, Jason Derulo reached out to Gibson as a solo artist for a joint venture between his label, Future History, and Atlantic Records. Gibson says she started working with Derulo to create music to present to executives at Atlantic so they would sign off on her deal.
According to Gibson, Derulo repeatedly invited her out for drinks, sometimes during their studio sessions, to which she declined to maintain a professional relationship. After telling Derulo that she was not willing to go against her morals to move ahead professionally, the suit alleges Derulo responded by telling Gibson she might have to take part in “goat skin and fish scales” to be successful. Gibson says this referred to “rituals involving sex” and cocaine, she later learned from articles online.
The lawsuit says that Gibson considered Derulo’s statement “an explicit demand for sex-in-exchange-for-success,” later reinforced by other behavior, including repeated pressure to go out with him, and scheduling their studio sessions late at night. Gibson says this later culminated in an aggressive outburst from Derulo, after which he went “radio silent” with her.
Gibson states that the A&R executive at Atlantic Records acknowledged Derulo’s behavior when she contacted the department, but that she was dropped from Atlantic and Future History only two months later.
“I’m just trying to fight for what’s right, because what was done to me was not okay,” says Gibson. “I wouldn’t want anybody else to go through what I went through. (…) ‘Forget the contract’ — that’s what I was told. (But) if I wasn’t doing my part according to this contract, I would be in trouble. I would be held accountable.”
Gibson’s lawsuit accused Derulo, his imprint Future History, and Atlantic Records of sexual harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, a failure to remedy workplace harassment, and violation of California’s civil rights act. She seeks unpaid wages, loss of earnings, deferred compensation and other employment benefits, and damages for emotional distress.