Three songwriters filed a countersuit against Lizzo in federal court on Friday, alleging that they have been denied proper credit for writing her breakout hit, “Truth Hurts.”
Lizzo sued the songwriters — brothers Justin and Jeremiah Raisen, as well as Justin “Yves” Rothman — last October, seeking a determination that they did not deserve credit for the song.
On Friday, the trio fired back, alleging that “Truth Hurts” is substantially similar to “Healthy,” a song they composed with Lizzo a few months earlier.
“Lizzo is a talented musician and performer who currently enjoys immense popularity based on a hit song that she did not write alone,” said their attorney, Lawrence Iser, in a statement. “The Counterclaims we filed today seek a judgment from the court that the song that is now called ‘Truth Hurts’ originated in Justin Raisen’s home recording studio from a collaboration among our clients, Justin and Jeremiah Raisen and Yves Rothman, along with Lizzo and Jesse Saint John. When the case proceeds to trial, we look forward to sharing the sound recordings, videos, photographs and musicology that 100% prove that collaboration. Our clients deserve their fair share of the recognition and revenue that comes from collaborating on a hit song.”
According to the countersuit, a musicologist found “strikingly similar lyric and musical elements” in the two songs. Both songs open with the now-famous line: “I just did a DNA test / turns out I’m a 100% that bitch.” “Healthy” continues, “even when I’m holistic,” while in “Truth Hurts,” the next line is “even when I’m crying crazy.” The countersuit contends there are other musical similarities as well, in the use of piano, Lizzo’s “vamping,” and in the overall structure of the chorus and verses.
In the earlier complaint, Lizzo’s attorneys said the Raisens had previously given a written waiver of any right to the song.
When the controversy first became public, Lizzo posted on social media: “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.”