Jason Derulo has been accused of sexually harassing a woman he offered a record contract to.
Emaza Gibson, 25, alleges that the singer offered her a deal as a solo artist in August 2021 – only to retract it the following September after she refused his sexual advances.
The lawsuit, which was filed at the Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, seeks damages for emotional distress, unpaid wages, loss of earnings, deferred compensation and employment benefits.
Ms Gibson’s claims include quid-pro-quo sexual harassment, intimidation and breach of contract.
She told Sky News’ partner network NBC News that she was left “anxious” and “traumatised” by the experience.
In a video posted on his Instagram, Derulo vehemently denied her claims.
The 34-year-old said: “I wouldn’t normally comment but these claims are completely false and hurtful. 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.”
Ms Gibson alleges that Derulo “maliciously” promised her fame and success with a joint venture between his music label Future History and Atlantic Records.
She was told to produce a mixtape in four months and an album in six months – and that one of her singles would feature Derulo, the court documents say.
But she says he pressurised her to socialise with him, offering her “inappropriately large amounts of alcohol”.
On one occasion in what has been described as “explicit demand for sex in exchange for success”, the court filing alleges that Derulo demanded she take part in a sexual ritual known as “goat skin fish scales” – involving a sacrificial goat and cocaine.
The lawsuit lists Derulo, famous for his hits Whatcha Say and Ridin’ Solo, his manager Frank Harris, Atlantic Records, RCA Records and Future History in the case.
None of those listed responded to NBC’s requests for comment.