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Lizzo responds to ‘outrageous’ sexual harassment lawsuit – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Lizzo responds to ‘outrageous’ sexual harassment lawsuit

Finally, the moment has arrived. Lizzo has expressed her thoughts on the shocking lawsuit filed by three of her former backup dancers against her. In a statement posted on social media, the Grammy winner addressed the difficult and disappointing days she has experienced. She stated that her work ethic, morals, and respectfulness have been called into question, and her character has been criticized. While she usually chooses not to respond to false allegations, she found these claims to be unbelievable and outrageous, warranting a response.

Lizzo referred to the claims as “sensationalized” and pointed out that they came from former employees who had already admitted to their inappropriate and unprofessional behavior while touring with her. She acknowledged that her passion for her work comes with hard work and high standards, which sometimes require making tough decisions. She made it clear that she never intends to make anyone feel uncomfortable or undervalued as part of her team.

The singer emphasized that she does not want to be seen as a victim but wants her fans to know that she is not the villain she has been portrayed as in recent days. Lizzo stated that she is open about her sexuality and self-expression but refuses to let others use that openness to misrepresent her. She expressed that she takes the respect women deserve in the world very seriously.

Lizzo concluded her statement by affirming that she is hurt but will not let this overshadow the positive work she has done. She thanked everyone who has shown support during this challenging time.

Crystal Williams, Arianna Davis, and Noelle Rodriguez joined forces to accuse Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Jefferson, of creating a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, and disability discrimination, among other claims. According to the lawsuit, Lizzo allegedly invited her dancers to a night of debauchery at Amsterdam’s red-light district, engaging in inappropriate activities. She also allegedly pressured one of the plaintiffs to touch a performer’s nude breasts against her will.

The lawsuit further stated that Lizzo failed to disclose that a venue they were going to in Paris was a nude cabaret bar, causing discomfort for the dancers. Additionally, Lizzo allegedly subjected her dancers to a grueling re-audition process, which included no breaks and lasted for 12 hours. One dancer claimed to have soiled her pants out of fear of being fired if she excused herself. Lizzo also allegedly made derogatory comments about a dancer’s weight gain and ultimately fired her after discovering she had secretly recorded a team meeting.

During the firing, Lizzo reportedly displayed aggressive behavior, raising her fists and making threatening gestures towards one of the dancers. The lawsuit also named Lizzo’s production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc., and dance captain Shirlene Quigley as defendants. Quigley was accused of inappropriate conversations about her sexual fantasies in front of the dancers.

Since the allegations became public, Lizzo has faced significant backlash. Her former creative director supported the dancers’ claims, a documentary director criticized her character, and Beyoncé omitted Lizzo’s name during a performance.

It’s about damn time.

Lizzo has finally weighed in on the bombshell lawsuit that three of her former backup dancers filed against her Tuesday.

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“These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing,” the Grammy winner, 35, said in a statement posted to social media Thursday morning.

“My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized. Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.”

The “2 Be Loved” singer said the “sensationalized” claims came from former employees who “already publicly admitted” that their behavior while touring with her had been “inappropriate and unprofessional.”

She explained that with her “passion” comes “hard work and high standards,” admitting that she has to “make hard decisions.”

“It’s never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable or like they aren’t valued as an important part of the team.”


lizzo
Lizzo released a statement slamming the “outrageous” sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit filed against her by former backup dancers.
Lizzo / Instagram

Lizzo said in her statement that she wasn’t trying to appear as a “victim” but implored her fans and followers to know that she’s not “the villain” that she’s been portrayed as in recent days.

“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,” she wrote. “There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as women in the world.”

The “Boys” performer added that she knows what it feels like “to be body shamed on a daily basis and would absolutely never criticize or terminate an employee because of their weight.”


lizzo performing
“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 wrote in a statement.
WireImage

“I am hurt but I will not let the good work I’ve done in the world be overshadowed by this,” she concluded. “I want to thank everyone who has reached out in support to lift me up during this difficult time.”

Crystal Williams, Arianna Davis and Noelle Rodriguez came together to accuse Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Jefferson, of creating a hostile work environment, sexual harassment and disability discrimination, among other claims.

In February, the “Good as Hell” singer allegedly invited her dancers to a night of debauchery at Amsterdam’s red-light district, known for its sex theaters, sex shops, clubs and bar, per the suit obtained by TheFantasyTimes.


Lizzo onstage.
The Grammy-winning artist has been accused by three of her former dancers of creating a hostile work environment, sexual harassment and other scathing claims.
Getty Images

While at Bananenbar, a club known for adult entertainment, Lizzo allegedly encouraged her dancers to “take turns touching nude performers, [catch] dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas and [eat] bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas.”

She then allegedly pressured Davis, one of the plaintiffs, to touch a performer’s nude breasts even though Davis had already expressed three times that she did not want to do so.

The pro dancer claimed she eventually touched the performer’s chest “briefly” after Lizzo led an “overwhelming” chorus of chants for her to participate, per the suit.


Arianna Davis
Plaintiff Arianna Davis claimed in the suit that Lizzo pressured her to touch a woman’s naked breast during a tour stop in Amsterdam and also weight-shamed her.
aridavis5678/Instagram

The following month, the “Truth Hurts” singer invited her dancers out again during a tour stop in Paris but allegedly failed to mention that the venue they were going to was a nude cabaret bar.

“Not until the curtain opened and nude women began to dance on the stage did plaintiffs know what they were in store for,” the lawsuit stated, noting that dancers felt “pressure” to go on these outings out of fear that they may lose their jobs or be ostracized if they did not go.

In April, Lizzo had the dancers re-audition for almost 12 grueling hours after she allegedly accused them of “unprofessionalism” and suspected that some of them had been drinking alcohol before shows.


Crystal Williams.
Crystal Williams, another plaintiff, once spoke up after Lizzo allegedly accused the dancers of drinking on the job. She was subsequently fired.
cryssiedenise/Instagram

The dancers were allegedly “not allowed a break” during the re-audition, which the lawsuit described as “brutal.”

David claimed she soiled her pants onstage at one point because she was fearful of getting fired if she excused herself from the re-audition.

At another time, Lizzo allegedly called out Davis’ weight gain even though the dancer had disclosed prior to her hiring that she battles binge eating, depression and anxiety. The dancer was ultimately fired after it was discovered that she had secretly recorded a team meeting.


Lizzo's dancers posing.
Lizzo allegedly also held a grueling 12-hour re-audition for her dancers with “no breaks.”
Instagram/ Arianna Davis

Per the suit, Rodriguez quit thereafter in solidarity with Davis because she felt her friend had been “disrespected” during the firing.


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Lizzo allegedly began “cracking her knuckles, balling her fists and exclaiming, ‘You’re lucky. You’re so f–king lucky,’” as if implying that she wanted to hit Rodriguez.

The “Rumors” singer allegedly also stuck her middle fingers up and shouted, “Bye, bitch!,” per the suit.


Noelle Rodriguez.
Noelle Rodriguez quit because she felt Lizzo had been “disrespectful.”
freakin_noelle/Instagram

Aside from Lizzo, the singer’s production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc., and dance captain Shirlene Quigley are also named as defendants in the suit. The latter is accused of speaking inappropriately about her sexual fantasies in front of dancers while also proselytizing.

Since the allegations have become public, Lizzo has faced a ton of backlash online.

Her former creative director backed the dancers’ claims, a documentary director called the flautist “arrogant, self-centered and unkind” and Beyoncé omitted Lizzo’s name from “Break My Soul (The Queens Remix)” during a tour stop in Massachusetts.

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