Thursday, August 3, 2023

Lizzo Addresses Sexual Harassment Lawsuit from Former Dancers

Grammy-winning artist Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, has addressed the civil lawsuit filed against her by three former dancers, Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez. In a statement released on Thursday via her Twitter and Instagram accounts, Lizzo expressed the difficulty and disappointment she has experienced due to the recent allegations.

“These last few days have been gut-wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing,” Lizzo wrote. “My work ethic, morals, and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized. Usually, I chose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.”

Lizzo went on to clarify that the allegations were coming from former employees who had already admitted to being warned about their inappropriate and unprofessional behavior during the tour. She expressed her desire not to be seen as a victim and stressed the importance of respect for women in the world. The singer vehemently denied ever body shaming anyone and stated that she would never criticize or terminate an employee based on their weight.

The original lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, accused Lizzo of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment during the employment of the three dancers. The plaintiffs alleged that Lizzo pressured them to engage with nude performers at a club in Amsterdam after a concert and claimed that she led a chant pressuring one of them to touch the breasts of a nude performer during a sexually themed show in the city's Red Light District.

In addition to the sexual harassment allegations, the lawsuit also included charges of religious and racial harassment, disability discrimination, assault, and false imprisonment against Lizzo and her production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc. Shirlene Quigley, captain of Lizzo's dance team, was also named as a defendant.

The dancers accused Lizzo of overworking them, subjecting them to a 12-hour rehearsal, and firing those she was dissatisfied with. One dancer claimed to have been fired for challenging Lizzo's claim that the group was drinking before performances, while another alleged being dismissed after recording a meeting while suffering from an eye condition.

The lawsuit sought unspecified damages and brought attention to the need for accountability and fair treatment within the entertainment industry.

As the legal proceedings continue, Lizzo thanked her supporters for lifting her up during this challenging time.

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