Today, Lizzo responded to the allegations of plagiarism she is facing over her song “Truth Hurts,” and it turns out she has also filed a lawsuit against her accusers. Pitchfork reports that the suit was filed today in a California federal court, and that Lizzo is seeking “a judicial declaration” that Justin Raisen, Jeremiah Raisen, and Justin “Yves” Rothman “did not co-author ‘Truth Hurts,’ and have no right to co-own that work or to share in its profits.”
In the lawsuit, Lizzo’s lawyer Cynthia S. Arato writes:
“[T]he Raisens, acting through their sophisticated music publisher and an experienced music industry lawyer, expressly withdrew any claim to ‘Truth Hurts,’ in writing, in April of this year, and subsequently assured Lizzo, again in writing, that they were making no claims to the work. Despite their clear, unequivocal, and repeated renunciations, this September the Raisens purported to ‘reinstate’ their wholly unfounded claims — after they saw ‘Truth Hurts’ become a hit and in a bad faith effort to capitalize on Lizzo’s success. The Raisens, moreover, embarked on an escalating campaign of harassment against Lizzo and others involved in ‘Truth Hurts,’ threatening to ‘go public’ unless they receive an unwarranted share of this work.”
This comes after the Raisens and Rothman have claimed that “Truth Hurts” uses the “melody, lyrics, and chords” from a demo that they worked on with Lizzo. In the suit, Lizzo is asking for a ruling that says the Raisens, their Heavy Duty Music Publishing company, Rothman have no right to either ownership or profit from “Truth Hurts.” She is also seeking a declaration “that ‘Truth Hurts’ does not infringe any copyright interest purportedly held by defendant Rothman in any unreleased demo song.”
In her statement from earlier today, Lizzo wrote, “The men who now claim a piece of Truth Hurts did not help me write any part of the song. They had nothing to do with the line or how I chose to sing it. There was no one in the room when I wrote Truth Hurts, except me, Ricky Reed, and my tears. That song is my life, and its words are my truth.”
As for “Truth Hurts,” the song just returned to the top of the charts for the seventh week.
Lizzo is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music.