After finally breaking her silence on a songwriting dispute surrounding her summer smash ‘Truth Hurts,’ Lizzo has filed a lawsuit against the Raisen brothers, the LA-based songwriters who claim they deserve credit on the track.
The R‘n’B star and rapper took to Twitter on Wednesday to respond to Justin and Jeremiah Raisen’s claim that ‘Truth Hurts’ uses material from ‘Healthy,’ a 2017 tune they co-wrote with Lizzo. She says the brothers contributed nothing to ‘Truth Hurts’ or its most famous lyric, which is central to the conflict.
Lizzo’s suit urges the court to declare that the Raisens have “no ownership rights in” or “right to any sums of money” made from ‘Truth Hurts’; the singer is also suing the pair for harassment.
“Hey y’all ... as I’ve shared before, in 2017, while working on a demo, I saw a meme that resonated with me, a meme that made me feel like 100 per cent that [expletive],” Lizzo said in a statement posted on Twitter. “I sang that line in the demo, and I later used the line in ‘Truth Hurts’.
“The men who now claim a piece of ‘Truth Hurts’ did not help me write any part of the song,” she continued. “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.”
“The men” in question were not happy with Lizzo’s Twitter statement. Speaking to The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, the Raisen brothers expressed their disappointment with her remarks, particularly the way she referred to ‘Healthy’ as a demo and didn’t mention either of them by name.
“It’s not in line with what she stands for and preaches for and is preaching about,” Justin Raisen said by phone, with his brother also on the call. “We’ve said nothing but nice things about her, and now to find out that she’s actually pointing her finger at us — these quote-unquote ‘men’ — is extremely saddening, and it’s painful ... because people don’t do this to other people. It’s just not fair. I’ve never dealt with anything like this in the music industry.”
Lizzo’s new lawsuit supports her assertion that the Raisens deserve no credit for ‘Truth Hurts,’ nor compensation for its chart-topping performance.
“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,” said Cynthia Arato, Lizzo’s attorney. “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,” the statement concluded.
Justin Raisen said he never wanted to end up in court, but Lizzo’s legal action has fired him up and he vowed to clear his family name.
“We’ll go to court. We’ll win. We’ll take a lot more money — not that that’s what I want; I just want the right thing to be done,” he said. “And then I’ll take [Lizzo] to court because I’ve almost been checked into a psychiatric recovery centre twice because of all of this damage and psychological stress I’ve been through.”
‘Truth Hurts,’ which was released in 2017 but became a hit this year, has spent seven weeks on top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.