LOS ANGELES – Lizzo mentioned Thursday that she’s “not the villain” that three of her former backup dancers falsely accuse her of being in a sexual harassment lawsuit.
The civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court docket claims Lizzo pressured the dancers to interact with nude performers at a membership in Amsterdam and shamed one in all them for her weight achieve earlier than firing her.
“I am not here to be looked at as a victim, but I also know that I am not the villain that people and the media have portrayed me to be these last few days,” Lizzo mentioned in a press release posted on social media. “I am very open with my sexuality and expressing myself but I cannot accept or allow people to use that openness to make me out to be something I am not.”
Plaintiffs Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez made quite a few allegations together with sexual, spiritual and racial harassment, incapacity discrimination, assault and false imprisonment. They accuse the Grammy winner and her manufacturing firm of making a hostile work setting.
The authorized grievance seeks unspecified damages from Melissa Viviane Jefferson, identified professionally as Lizzo, her manufacturing firm Massive Grrrl Massive Touring, Inc., and Shirlene Quigley, captain of the performer’s dance staff.
“These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing. My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized,” Lizzo mentioned within the assertion. “Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.”
She mentioned the “sensationalized stories” had been coming from former workers “who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.”
The courtroom submitting claims that after performing a live performance in Amsterdam, Lizzo and her crew attended a sexually themed present at a membership within the metropolis’s infamous Crimson Mild District the place “Lizzo began inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers” and led a chant pressuring Davis to the touch the breasts of one of many nude ladies performing on the membership.
“Finally, the chorus became overwhelming, and a mortified Ms. Davis acquiesced in an attempt to bring an end to the chants,” the grievance states. “Plaintiffs were aghast with how little regard Lizzo showed for the bodily autonomy of her employees and those around her, especially in the presence of many people whom she employed.”
Lizzo, who routinely champions physique positivity, can be accused of calling out Davis for her weight achieve after accusing the dancer of not being dedicated to her position. Davis was fired in Could for recording a gathering throughout which Lizzo had given out notes to dancers about their performances, based on the grievance.
“Sometimes I have to make hard decisions but it’s never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable or like they aren’t valued as an important part of the team,” Lizzo mentioned. “I’m hurt but I will not let the good work I’ve done in the world be overshadowed by this.”
Quigley, who served as a decide on the singer’s actuality present “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” is accused within the lawsuit of pushing her Christian beliefs onto dancers. The courtroom submitting claims Quigley referred to Davis as a “non-believer” and advised co-workers that “No job and no one will stop me from talking about the Lord.”
Earlier this yr, Lizzo received the Grammy for report of the yr for her hit single “About Damn Time.” A world tour supporting her fourth studio album, 2022’s “Special,” wrapped up final month.
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