Lizzo took to Twitter Wednesday (Oct. 23) to shut down claims that she plagiarized the fan favorite “100% that bitch” verse of her chart-topping hit “Truth Hurts” — adding that she’s giving songwriting credits to the woman whose 2017 tweet inspired the line. Lizzo’s rep also tells Billboard she has filed a lawsuit to establish in court Lizzo’s claim to the song.
Last week, songwriter and producer brothers Justin and Jeremiah Raisen posted a lengthy statement on Instagram claiming that Lizzo lifted elements of a song they wrote in 2017 called “Healthy” to create “Truth Hurts,” including the line “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch.” The brothers added that they, Lizzo, and other co-writers were inspired by singer Mina Lioness‘ tweet of that exact line.
In her statement on Twitter, Lizzo acknowledged she used the line from Lioness’ tweet, which “resonated” with her. But she denies the Raisen brothers contributed to “Truth Hurts,” which rebounded to its No. 1 peak on the Hot 100 this week.
“The men who now claim a piece of Truth Hurts did not help me write any part of the song,” she wrote. “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.”
Later, she added, “the creator of the tweet is the person I am sharing my success with.”
In a statement to Billboard, Lizzo’s lawyer Cynthia Arato said she and her client filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the Raisens.
“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,” she said. “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.”
Meanwhile, Lioness confirmed on Twitter that Lizzo and her management team did indeed reach out, and that she will now be added as a credited writer for the song. Along with Lizzo and Ricky Reed, Jesse Saint John and Steven Cheung currently have credits on the song.
Lizzo’s rep also confirmed this plan with Billboard but declined to comment on further details.
Meanwhile, the singer, rapper and musician recently faced another plagiarism claim made last week by artist CeCe Peniston, who accused Lizzo copying ad-libs from her 1992 song “Finally” for Lizzo’s song “Juice.” This was also dismissed on Wednesday by a Warner/Chappell spokesperson, telling Billboard, “There’s no substantial similarity between ‘Juice’ and ‘Finally’, and there’s no valid claim there.”
— #STREAMTRUTHHURTS (@lizzo) October 23, 2019
UPDATE: This story was updated Oct. 23, 2019, at 5:10 p.m. EST to include statements from Lizzo’s representatives.