Last week, songwriters/producers Justin and Jeremiah Raisen posted a lengthy Instagram caption accusing Lizzo of plagiarism. Lizzo, in response, has filed a lawsuit denying any copyright infringement.
The Raisen brothers claim they originally wrote the lyrics, melody, and chords used in Lizzo’s No. 1 hit “Truth Hurts” for a song titled “Healthy” during a recording session with Lizzo and two other songwriters, Jesse St John and Justin “Yves” Rothman. According to Variety, Lizzo’s lawsuit names the Raisens and Justin “Yves” Rothman. Part of the lawsuit maintains that the song does not “infringe any copyright interest purportedly held by Defendant Rothman in any unreleased demo song.”
The suit also mentions that, “The Raisens... 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.”
Lizzo’s attorney, Cynthia Arato, wrote in a statement to Variety:
“Today we filed a lawsuit on Lizzo’s behalf to establish, in a court of law, that the Raisens are not writers of ‘Truth Hurts’ and have no right to profit from the song’s success. The Raisens did not collaborate with Lizzo or anyone else to create the song, and they did not help write any of the material that they now seek to profit from, which is why they expressly renounced any claim to the work, in writing, months ago, as the lawsuit makes abundantly clear.
Although it is all too commonplace for successful artists to be subjected to these type of opportunistic claims, it is nevertheless disappointing that Lizzo had to take this step to put an end to the Raisens’ false claims and their campaign of harassment.”
In February 2018, British musician Mina Lioness also accused Lizzo of lifting material for “Truth Hurts.” Lioness said that in February 2017, she tweeted the phrase, “I did a DNA test and found out I’m 100% that bitch,” before “Truth Hurts” was written. Lizzo responded by saying she borrowed the phrase from an Instagram meme.
The Raisens and Rothman have yet to publicly respond to Lizzo’s lawsuit.