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Lizzo makes a statement after former dancers claim she was harassed


LOS ANGELES — Lizzo said on Thursday that three of her former backup dancers are not the “bad guys” she falsely accuses of filing sexual harassment lawsuits.

The civil suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, alleges that Lizzo pressured dancers into having relationships with nude performers at an Amsterdam club and embarrassed her for gaining weight before firing one of the dancers.

“I’m not here to be seen as a victim, but I also know that I am not the villain that people and the media have portrayed me for the past few days,” Lizzo said on social media. “I am very open about my sexuality and self-expression, but I cannot allow or accept that people use that openness to make me look like something I am not.”

Plaintiffs Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez made numerous allegations, including sexual, religious and racial harassment, disability discrimination, assault and wrongful imprisonment. They accuse the Grammy-winning actor and production company of creating a hostile work environment.

The legal complaint seeks indefinite compensation from Melissa Viviane Jefferson, known professionally as Lizzo, her production company Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc., and Shirlene Quigley, the captain of the actor’s dance crew.

“These last few days have been heartbreakingly difficult and hugely disappointing. My work ethic, morality, and respect have been questioned. My character has been criticized,” Lizzo said in a statement. “

He said the “sensational stories” came from former employees who “have already publicly admitted that they have been told that their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional”.

The court filing alleges that after a concert in Amsterdam, Lizzo and her team attended a sexually-themed show at a club in the city’s notorious Red Light District, and that “Lizzo began inviting the cast to take turns touching naked actors” and sang a hymn. . Pressuring Davis to have one of the naked women performing at the club touch her breasts.

“Finally, the choir became overwhelming, and the embarrassed Ms. Davis consented to an attempt to put an end to the chants,” the complaint says. “The plaintiffs were stunned by Lizzo’s low regard for the bodily autonomy of her employees and those around her, especially in front of the many people she employs.”

Lizzo, who routinely advocates for body positivity, is also accused of urging Davis to gain weight after accusing the dancer of not committing to her role. According to the complaint, Davis was fired in May for recording a meeting where Lizzo gave the dancers notes on their performances.

“Sometimes I have to make tough decisions, but I never intend to make anyone feel uncomfortable or not feel valued as an important part of the team,” said Lizzo. “I am hurt, but I will not let the good work I have done in the world be overshadowed by it.”

Serving as a judge on the singer’s reality show “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” Quigley is accused of imposing her Christian beliefs on the dancers. Court filing allegations Quigley referred to Davis as a “non-believer” and told his colleagues, “No job and no one can stop me from talking about God.”

Earlier this year, Lizzo won a Grammy for record of the year for her hit single “About Damn Time.” His worldwide tour in support of his fourth studio album “Special”, which was released in 2022, wrapped up last month.


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