Pop star Jason Derulo has been accused in a new lawsuit of terminating an aspiring singer’s recording contract after she rejected his sexual advances. In an interview with NBC NewsEmaza Gibson, 25, accuses Derulo, 34, of aggressive behavior, sexual harassment, suggesting she had to have sex with him to advance her career and fearing for her safety.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Gibson says she had already established herself as a successful YouTuber when Derulo approached her in 2021. She claims he offered her a joint deal with Atlantic Records and his own label, Future History. To do that, she would have to make an album within six months.
While Gibson worked to fulfill her commitments to the labels, she said Derulo frequently invited and pressured her to have drinks with him in the studio. When she said she didn’t want to violate her morals for her career, Gibson said Derulo told her she might have to engage in “goat skin and fish scales,” which the aspiring singer saw as a reference to sacrificial rituals involving sex.
Over time, Gibson claimed that she viewed Derulo’s actions—including invitations to late-night studio sessions—as “explicit demands for sex in exchange for success.”
Gibson’s lawsuit also describes incidents in which Derulo became angry and yelled at Gibson, including once when she was late for a recording session and Derulo “attacked” her in front of her mother and his co-workers.
That was the last time Gibson saw Derulo, she says, and according to her lawsuit, she was eventually dropped by Atlantic Records in September 2022.
Gibson and her mother say they tried to contact Atlantic Records via email to discuss Derulo’s “sexually, emotionally and physically inappropriate behavior” but received no response.
“I’m just trying to fight for what’s right because what was done to me was not okay,” Gibson told NBC News. “And I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what I went through. You wasted my time. You promised me things. … ‘Forget the contract.’ That’s what I was told. But if I didn’t do it, if I didn’t do my part under this contract, I would be in trouble. I would be held accountable.”
Gibson’s lawsuit accuses Derulo, Future History and Atlantic Records of sexual harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, failure to remedy workplace harassment and violation of California Civil Rights Law. She is seeking unpaid wages, loss of earnings, deferred compensation and other employment benefits, and damages for emotional distress.
The Daily Beast has reached out to Derulo and Atlantic Records for comment.