Jason Derulo Calls Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Allegation ‘Defamatory’

Emaza Gibson, the singer who is suing Derulo for allegedly pulling a record deal after she refused his sexual advances, told NBC that she's "traumatized."

Jason Derulo Calls Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Allegation ‘Defamatory’
Photo:Getty Images, Emaza Gibson/Instagram

In a new lawsuit filed, a singer named Emaza Gibson alleges that Jason Derulo subjected her to quid pro quo sexual harassment, NBC reported on Thursday. According to Gibson, who is 25, Derulo in 2021 promised her a record deal as part of a joint venture between his music imprint, Future History, and Atlantic only to pull the deal after she rejected his sexual overtures, and cause her to feel physically unsafe.

Derulo denied Gibson’s allegations in a video statement shared on Instagram late Thursday night. “I stand against all forms of harassment and I remain supportive of anybody following their dreams,” Derulo said, adding, “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, she and Derulo started working closely together in summer 2021 on music for her deal with Atlantic, which would require an EP in four months and album in six. It was during this time that she claims Derulo pressured her to go out with him for dinner and drinks, and to drink with him at the studio while they worked. When she agreed to have a drink while they were working one time, her suit alleges that she was given “inappropriately large amounts of alcohol.” Gibson claims Derulo told her she’d at some point have to take part in “goat skin and fish scales,” which she says she later learned was slang for cocaine and sex acts.

Gibson says that Derulo introduced her to another woman artist he was working with who seemingly alluded to having sexual relations with Derulo as part of her music deal. When Gibson later discussed meeting the other singer with Derulo, she claims he flew into a rage at her and “immediately lost control and began aggressively hitting his arm rests screaming, ‘What does she have to do with you!?’”

Gibson’s suit claims she signed a deal with Atlantic shortly after that incident, but Derulo didn’t assign her a project manager or respond to her messages. In June 2022, Derulo began working with her again. But when she was late to a planned recording session due to heavy traffic in the Los Angeles area, she alleges that Derulo lost his temper again, and berated and charged at her in front of her mother and his staff. Their working relationship deteriorated entirely after this and Gibson learned she was dropped from Atlantic and Future History in September 2022.

“I’m traumatized. …I’m at this point where I’m back to zero and I have nothing,” Gibson told NBC. Gibson is now suing Derulo, his imprint, and Atlantic Records for unpaid wages, loss of earnings, deferred compensations, employment benefits, and damages for emotional distress. An attorney for Gibson told NBC that Derulo “not only broke promises and breached contracts, but his threats of physical harm and unconscionable sexual advances toward this young woman…were outrageous and illegal.”

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