In a complaint filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Gibson says Derulo contacted her in August 2021 to sign her as a solo artist to his label Future History and began working with him in November 2021, with the promise of collaborating on an album. But she claims Derulo repeatedly pressured her to drink and have sex with him, alleging there was an “explicit demand for sex-in-exchange-for-success.”
Among many claims, the lawsuit alleges that at one point Derulo told Gibson that if she wanted to be successful in “this business” 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.’” The lawsuit claims that “the manner and timing of such a statement meant that Derulo was demanding sexual acts from [Gibson] in order for Derulo to fulfill his role as her mentor, supervisor and musical collaborator.”
In the complaint, Gibson alleges that Derulo would often schedule late night (9 p.m. to 2 a.m.) studio sessions and repeatedly invite her to drinks. The lawsuit claims Derulo “constantly pressured [Gibson] to drink with him despite [Gibson] repeatedly expressing she’s not a drinker. As a pretext, Derulo would “assure” [Gibson] he would arrange for an Uber to take her home.”
In another incident, the lawsuit claims that during a late-night recording session, Derulo again asked Gibson to have a drink with him. Gibson “reluctantly” agreed to have a drink with Derulo, but she was given “inappropriately large amounts of alcohol,” the suit says. “After this session, where [Gibson] declined to drink and have sex with Derulo, the offer to arrange for [Gibson] to get to and from Derulo’s studio ceased,” the complaint says.
The lawsuit says Derulo eventually stopped responding to Gibson’s messages and that in September 2022 she was dropped by Future History and Atlantic.
As well as Derulo and Future History, the complaint lists Atlantic Records (which has a joint venture with Future History), Derulo’s manager Frank Harris and RCA Records as defendants.
In an interview Wednesday with NBC News, Gibson said the whole situation was “very heartbreaking.” “I have anxiety; I’m traumatized. I’ve dealt with inhumane work situations. … I’m at this point where I’m back to zero and I have nothing,” Gibson said.
On Thursday night, in a clip posted to Instagram, Derulo addressed the allegations without going into the specifics of Gibson’s claims.
“I wouldn’t normally comment but these claims are completely false and hurtful,” Derulo said in a statement posted to his Instagram. “I stand against all forms of harassment and I remain supportive of anybody following their dreams.”
He added, “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.”