“I wouldn’t normally comment but these claims are completely false and hurtful,” said Derulo in a video and written statement posted to Instagram Thursday night. “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. God bless.”
In the complaint, the woman, Emaza Gibson, said that she signed with Derulo’s record label, Future History, after Derulo allegedly reached out about working with her in August 2021. But she claimed the relationship quickly soured, with Derulo continually pressuring her to have sex with him despite her persistent refusals to do so. Among other accusations, Gibson said 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.’”
After allegedly rebuffing all of Derulo’s advances, Gibson claimed that the star became increasingly dismissive of and aggressive toward her. She further accused Derulo’s manager, Frank Harris, and human resources executives at Future History’s label partner, Atlantic Records, of defending Derulo or ignoring her complaints. In September 2022, she said she was informed that her “employment” with Future History and Atlantic had been terminated.
Since her alleged experiences with Derulo, Gibson claimed 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, breach of contract and more. Harris, Atlantic and RCA Records are also named as defendants. It’s unclear why RCA Records is listed, as the label has never done business with Derulo or Future History.
On Friday, Gibson’s attorney, Ron Zambrano, responded to Derulo’s statement by putting out his own. “If Derulo truly remained supportive of anyone following their dreams, he would acknowledge the pain and suffering he caused Emaza and aim to be a better person,” the statement reads. “He should be offended by these allegations, as should everyone, including his fans. Emaza is certainly offended by his dismissive attitude. The entire music industry is due for a #MeToo movement. This sort of conduct is pervasive but it takes brave people like Emaza to come out of the shadows and share their stories to finally bring an end to this shameful behavior.”
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