Renowned singer Jason Derulo is facing a lawsuit filed by an aspiring musician who claims that he expected sexual favors in exchange for career success. Emaza Gibson, the 25-year-old artist, lodged her complaint against Derulo in the Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday. According to Gibson, Derulo terminated their working relationship after she refused his sexual advances.
In a statement, Gibson’s attorney, Ron Zambrano, condemned Derulo’s behavior, stating that he made false promises, breached contracts, and subjected his client to physical threats and inappropriate sexual advances. Zambrano described Derulo’s actions as outrageous and illegal.
At the time of writing, Derulo’s representative has not responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
The complaint, obtained by PEOPLE, names not only Derulo but also Atlantic Records, RCA Records, Derulo’s label Future History Inc., and his manager Frank Harris. Gibson asserts that Derulo initially approached her in August 2021, expressing his intention to form a joint venture between Atlantic and Future History. However, to proceed with the venture, he needed to bring Atlantic a new artist.
Gibson eagerly accepted the offer to collaborate and entered agreements with Derulo, Atlantic, and Future History. The plan was for Gibson to deliver a mixtape to Atlantic within four months, followed by an album within six months, and a single featuring Derulo.
She considered Derulo to be her mentor and supervisor. Nevertheless, she was shocked when she was told that engaging in “goat skin and fish scales” was necessary for success in the industry. The complaint alleges that Derulo demanded sexual acts from Gibson as a condition for his role as her mentor, supervisor, and musical collaborator. His subsequent behavior reinforced this explicit demand.
In an interview with NBC News, Gibson revealed that she had to research the meaning of “goat skin” online and was disturbed by articles linking it to sex, goat sacrifices, and blood.
According to the complaint, Gibson and Derulo frequently texted to schedule recording sessions and meetings. Derulo persistently invited her for drinks and dinner, which Gibson declined, preferring to meet in a professional setting such as the recording studio. However, Derulo suggested having a drink during a studio session, pressuring her to drink despite her stating that she was not a drinker. He would promise to arrange for her safe transportation home afterward.
The complaint states that after Gibson declined to drink or engage in sexual activities with Derulo during a session, the offer for transportation ceased.
The complaint also highlights an incident from November 2021 when Gibson and Derulo met with Atlantic’s presidents to discuss her career. Allegedly, Derulo invited another woman into the meeting with the intention of having sex. Gibson expressed her discomfort with the situation to Derulo and Harris, which reportedly angered Derulo. Subsequently, Gibson’s mother, who also serves as her manager, accompanied her to all future meetings with Derulo out of concern for her safety.
Gibson claims that Derulo eventually ceased all communication with her. In September 2022, she was informed that her employment with Atlantic and Future History had been terminated.
The complaint further alleges that Gibson suffered from breakdowns, weight loss, insomnia, mood swings, and sought medical intervention. She received a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder and sought mental health treatment.
Gibson is suing Derulo for sexual harassment, breach of contract, illegal retaliatory termination, and other related charges.